Monday, February 27, 2012

The Scream | Guatemala genocide

painting could sell for as much as $80 million

1893 oil, tempera, and pastel on cardboard

I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

- on a page in his diary headed Nice 22.01.1892, Munch described his inspiration for the image

Sotheby's to sell Munch's The Scream, eyes $80 mln

(Reuters) Sotheby's will offer the only privately owned version of Edvard Munch's haunting work "The Scream" at an auction in New York on May 2 where it expects to fetch over $80 million, the highest pre-sale value the auctioneer has ever put on a work of art.

"Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream's value... The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby's suggests that the price could exceed $80 million."

The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik) is a series of Expressionist paintings and prints created by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910, showing an agonized figure against a red sky. The landscape in the background is the Oslofjord, viewed from Ekeberg, Oslo.

This version, executed in 1910 in tempera on cardboard, was stolen from the Munch Museum in 2004, and recovered in 2006.

Edvard Munch created several versions of The Scream in various media. The National Gallery, Oslo holds one of two painted versions. The Munch Museum holds the other painted version, and one pastel. A fourth version (1895), in pastel, is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, and will be offered at auction on May 2, 2012.[1] Experts estimate that the painting could sell for as much as $80 million. Munch also created a lithograph of the image in 1895.[2]

The Scream has been the target of several high-profile art thefts. In 1994, the version in the National Gallery was stolen. It was recovered several months later. In 2004, The Scream and Madonna were stolen from the Munch Museum, and recovered two years later.

The original German title given to the work by Munch was Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). The Norwegian word skrik is usually translated as scream, but is cognate with the English shriek. Occasionally, the painting has been called The Cry.

The Scream - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sotheby's - Overview

Sotheby’s is honoured to announce that Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream will lead its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 2 May 2012. The iconic work is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa.

The present version of The Scream dates from 1895, and is one of four versions of the composition, and the only version still in private hands. It will be on view in London for the first time ever, with the exhibition at Sotheby's opening on 13 April. In New York, and also for the first time ever, it will be on exhibition at Sotheby's in advance of the sale beginning 27 April. The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbour and patron of Munch.

As the defining image of the Expressionist movement, The Scream stands as a pivotal work in the history of art. Munch created the image in the mid-1890s as the central element of his celebrated Frieze of Life series. The powerfully-rendered, blood-red sky presents the viewer with the reality of Munch's experience at the moment he is gripped by anxiety in the hills above Oslo. Like his Dutch contemporary Vincent van Gogh, Munch's desire was to paint a new form of reality rooted in psychological experience, rather than visual. It is this projection of Munch's mental state that was so artistically innovative – a landscape of the mind, whose impact is still felt in the art of today.

An icon of global visual culture, The Scream is instantly recognizable – from Beijing to Moscow to New York. Since its creation at the turn of the 20th century, the provocative work has only gained relevance and impact over time. The haunting composition stands as the visual embodiment of modern anxiety and existential dread, referenced by everyone from Andy Warhol to The Simpsons. Edvard Munch and The Scream have been the subject of countless books, scholarly articles, films and museum exhibitions.

Munch created four versions of The Scream. The prime example, worked in 1893 from tempera and crayon on board, is in the National Gallery of Norway; another pastel version from the same year is thought to be a preliminary sketch for the work, and is owned by the Munch Museum in Oslo; the present work from the Olsen Collection, created in 1895 from pastel on board, most closely follows the prime composition in the National Gallery; and a later version in tempera and oil on board, thought to be completed in 1910, is also in the collection of the Munch Museum. In addition, Munch created a lithograph of the image in 1895, which helped initiate the process of its mass proliferation.

Of the four versions of the work, the present Scream is distinguished in several remarkable ways: it is the most colorful and vibrant of the four; the only version whose original frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem detailing the work's inspiration; and the only version in which one of the two figures in the background turns to look outward onto the cityscape. This version has never before been on public view in either the UK or US, except briefly in the National Gallery in Washington D.C. decades ago.

The Scream has been in the collection of the Olsen family for over 70 years. Thomas Olsen, scion of the great ship-owning dynasty, was a collector and supporter of Munch from the late 1920s. Olsen and the artist were neighbors at Hvitsten in Norway, where the young businessman's role grew from friend to patron and eventually to protector of his works.

"The Scream" + Munch - Google Search

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Paul Seils: Guatemala Genocide Ruling a Triumph for Survivors

The Scream, 1895 Lithograph, 35.5 x 25.4 cm | Edvard Munch Gallery > Lithographs > The Scream

"In the years after I worked in Guatemala, the image I carried of the plight of the genocide victims was that of the haunting face in Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream. The pain is obvious to the observer, but there is no sound. The victims of Rios Montt were largely uneducated peasants: even screaming at the top of their lungs, their voices were never heard."

02/ 1/2012: On Thursday a Guatemalan court ruled the country's former president, General Efraín Ríos Montt, will stand trial for genocide and crimes against humanity committed thirty years ago. After decades spent hiding behind parliamentary immunity he will finally be held accountable for ordering massacres, disappearances, and the systematic destruction of hundreds of communities. The last few decades have seen a revolution in the global struggle against impunity, but even for those of us who follow the pursuit of justice in Guatemala closely, Thursday's decision ranks among the most astonishing developments. Belatedly, but valiantly, a new breed of prosecutors, led by Attorney General Claudia Paz, have finally allowed his victims' pleas for justice to be heard...

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