Are you familiar with the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch?
You will at least have seen his work Skrik (Scream) in one of its many forms, if not as a painting, perhaps as a punching bag?
A year ago in 2012), one of four original versions of the world-famous painting was sold at Sotheby’s for a record 119.9 million USD, the most expensive work of art ever sold at open auction.
You might have wondered about the inspiration behind this iconic work of art. These are the artist’s own words:
Jeg gikk bortover veien med to venner – så gikk solen ned. Himmelen ble plutselig blodig rød. Jeg stanset, lente meg til gjerdet trett til døden. Over den blåsvarte fjord og by lå blod i ildtunger. Mine venner gikk videre, og jeg sto igjen skjelvende av angst. Og jeg følte det store uendelige skrik gjennom naturen.
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.
No wonder Scream comes from here
VisitNorway has a slightly different version:
The prolific artist is the most important Norwegian painter of all time. This year (2013), a gallery of Munch paintings will welcome you to Oslo airport as part of the exhibition Munch150.
The Munch paintings will be there until October. So be sure to slow down and have a look at the walls when you arrive at OSL this year. If you’ve been here before, you know it can be a bit of a trek from the gate to the arrivals hall. Might as well stop for a few minutes for a closer look at the artwork.
Scream is of course exhibited at OSL – along with Livets dans (The Dance of Life), Pikene på broen (The Girls on the Bridge), Vampyr i skogen (Vampire in the Forest) and more. This is all here to remind international passengers it’s 150 years since the great painter was born and that this will be celebrated around the country all year long. For details, check out Munch150.
Good to know
On Tuesday (28 May 2013), the city government of Oslo finally (after years of discussion) decided to build a new Munch Museum in the harbour area. However, it will be a few years until this signature building is completed. In the meantime, the present Munch Museum is a bit out of the way in the Tøyen area. It can be difficult to find – and, strangely, Munch’s most famous works aren’t always on display here. If you want to see an original Scream, head to the National Gallery in the city centre.
I love the art in the airport- what a great way to welcome tourists to the country. I also love that I’d be able to view the pieces as I’m waiting on a connecting flight, etc. Very cool.
Very cool and creative this.
Wow, that’s an amazing price for a great piece of art. A museum sure is a great way to showcase his paintings.
Can you imagine? The astronomical prices people are willing to pay for paintings never cease to amaze me.
Thanks for this post and the info on “The Scream”. Look forward to updates on the new museum..
It’s going to be a few years that 🙂
That’s quite the welcome to Norway! I love the colours in the paintings. Years ago I saw some of the works in NYC – and would happily spend part of a day in the new museum,
I think Munch used colours very effectively to express emotions.
Good to know to allow time for enjoying some fine art. What a great idea.
It really is.
Isn’t it strange that some of the best art I’ve found are in airports (and train stations) around the world? Never realized that until now. Funny that this painting really does look like the scream mask.
Funny how the mask is almost as famous as the painting.
I wish I was coming to Oslo this summer. Well that’s a bit of a fib (very excited to be going home for a visit), but I would love to see all this brilliant art work.
At least you’ll have about the same temperatures in your parts of the world 🙂
Geez – $119.9 million!!! I wonder who bought it. Maybe I’m in the wrong business… 😉
Great info about the exhibit at the Oslo airport. I won’t be passing through OSL this year, but whenever I’m in Norway, I’ll be sure to check out Munch’s work at the National Gallery.
A private-equity financier in New York bought it.
The scream is my favorite one! Thank you so much for posting this, you’ve just made my day!
My pleasure 🙂
Unfortunately my Ryanair flight landed in Ryge airport, so didn’t see this exposition.
You wouldn’t see much of anything at Rygge; very functional, in-and-out, tiny airport. 🙂
Yes, especially then my return flight was at 6:30am and you just want to sleep 🙂
I must admit that while I am familiar with The Scream, I do not know much about his other work. Putting the artwork in the airport is a wonderful idea.
The Scream must have hit a nerve with, well the world; everyone seems to know it.
The new Munch exhibition is all the hype now and has had terrific reviews, but surely that is not at Gardermoen. Or is there something I have misunderstood?
No, no, the exhibition is at the Munch Museum and at the National Gallery. This one at Gardermoen is just a teaser of sorts. 🙂
I love when airports do things like this – great way to kill some time on a layover!
Very creative, I agree.
The Scream is iconic, for sure. That video is so good. Makes it obvious!!!
Yes, love that video. 🙂
I loved seeing some of Munch’s other work at MoMA in NYC last year.
Cool that you’ve seen it there, Stephanie.
It is a bit out of the center, but way worth a visit! They had a great exhibitions there. Just one problem, that sometimes it is closed without a notice!
All in all, the National Gallery is a better bet.