REVIEW: Round Up: Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen,Courtauld Gallery

Discover what critics have been saying about this latest Edvard Munch exhibition…

Edvard Munch (1863 -1944)
At the Deathbed KODE Bergen Art Museum, The Rasmus Meyer Collection

The Guardian: ***** “This show may be modestly scaled, with just 18 paintings, but that is a lot of Munch on canvas – and in this perfectly lit, perfectly spaced exhibition you can get not just an eyeful but a soulful of the ecstatic sorrow of his colours. Munch wallows gloriously in his pain.”

The FT: “Like most Scandinavian artists — from Ibsen to Olafur Eliasson — Munch is a painter of the pastoral, intensely responsive to extremes of the seasons, evoked with rapture yet foreboding. It is fascinating to see him in the Courtauld context of the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, who shaped him formally, without altering his sensibility.”

Evening Standard: **** “This little exhibition then, packs a punch. Thank you, Bergen.”

Time Out: *** “There are some beautiful works here, but it’s a bit of a stretch to call them masterpieces, and by the time you get to his painting of a funeral, with its open casket and deathly mourners, you sort of get the message. Everything’s gothic and painful and overwrought, and it all starts to feel a little forced and cloying.”

Culture Whisper: “But perhaps it is Children Playing in the Street in Åsgårdstrand that stays with us. Munch’s vision of womanhood is present in many of his paintings. This one tells of a little girl’s anger, boredom, frustration, and need for help. She is looking at us and silently screaming. Chilling and strangely timely.”

The Times: **** “We all know The Scream. This icon of irredeemable angst is fêted as much as a fixture of popular culture as the first salvo of the Expressionist movement. But its fame can obscure the more nuanced character of Edvard Munch’s painting, as this new show at the Courtauld sets out to insist.”

The Telegraph: **** “His depictions of women haven’t aged so well, but the Courtauld’s enthralling new show makes a strong case for Munch’s brilliance even so.”

Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen will be on display until the 4th September.

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