Archives for posts with tag: The Scream

Always a controversial and problematic discussion, the much debated association between mental illness and creativity continues to engage and to elude definitive conclusions.

I am one of those sceptical of a necessary link between creative genius and mental illness. But am open to being challenged on this.

Check out this video from Aeon that proposes the potential of art as a better tool that science for understanding mental illness. The art in question focuses on the work of Edvard Munch, who I have spoken about here in previous posts.




It feels appropriate to return to Munch as we approach 2013, the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth.

Munch has dominated the arts world for much of this year, and he has been in the news again this week (

Apparently the artist, despite wide acclaim globally and record numbers this year viewing his iconic work The Scream, is less acclaimed in his native Norway.

Munch bequeathed much of his work to the city of Oslo. There has been a dedicated museum in the city since the 1940s, but one which attracts relatively few visitors, despite housing two versions of The Scream. There have been plans to build a more appropriate setting for the artist’s work, but as yet none of the plans have come to fruition.

The house that Munch bequeathed to the city of Oslo has since been demolished.

Perhaps 2013 will witness a resurgence of interest in the life and works of the artist in his homeland…


I seem to be (willingly) haunted by this iconic and personally deeply symbolic painting.

It has just been announced that the pastel version of Munch’s The Scream, conceived as part of his Frieze of Life series that centred on themes of angst, love and death, is to go on public display at the Museum of Modern Art New York for six months from October 2012. The Scream has never before been shown publicly in the city.

This is the only one of the four versions of the painting that remains in private ownership. A few months ago, this version was sold for a record amount at Sotheby’s New York. Just before it was sold, I was one of the lucky 7,500 or so who viewed the painting in Sotheby’s London.

In the New York auction house, Sotheby clients only were allowed to see it.

Lucky me.

Yet, I am still tempted to make a trip to New York over the coming months. The painting will be on display with many other works by Munch from the museum’s collection. Having seen The Scream in isolation, and the current Munch exhibition at Tate Modern, which did not include any versions of The Scream, I would truly love to see the painting within a wider context of the artist’s life an work.