SHARE
COPY LINK

EDVARD MUNCH

Munch’s iconic ‘Scream’ on display in New York

"The Scream," Edvard Munch's eerie 1895 masterpiece which sold in May for $119.9 million, is on view for the first time since that record-breaking auction, at New York's Museum of Modern Art.

Munch's iconic 'Scream' on display in New York
Photo: Harald Nygaard Kvam/NTB Scanpix

A spokeswoman said the artwork has been put on display in one of MoMA's most secure areas. It is being shown along with two other Munch paintings, as well as lithographs by the Norwegian artist.

"The installation is located in the fifth floor galleries for the museum's painting and sculpture collection, so it is in a location that already features considerable technology," said Margaret Doyle, press officer for MoMA.

"The only additional element for 'The Scream' is the addition of a Plexiglas cover for the work," she said.

The work on display in New York, a crayon drawing on board, is one of four versions of "The Scream," and the only one currently not in Norway.

The Munch Museum in Oslo owns a version in pastel as well as a painted version, while the National Gallery of Norway holds the earliest version of the work, painted in 1893.

The well-known artwork, showing a ghostlike figure with a skull-like face and gaping mouth, is believed to represent the anguished existence of modern man. The image has been reproduced, and even satirized, countless times.

The work on loan to MoMA through April of next year, was sold in May at a record-setting auction in New York by Sotheby's.

Until then, the record for the most expensive artwork was held by Picasso's 1932 painting "Nude, Green, Leave and Bust," which in 2010 sold at a Christie's auction for $106.5 million.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

ART

Paul Gauguin’s ‘Mata Mua’ returns to Spain

One of French painter Paul Gauguin's most famous paintings, "Mata Mua", will return to a Madrid museum on Monday following an agreement between the Spanish government and its owner, who took it out of the country.

mata mua madrid
Toward the end of his life, Gauguin spent ten years in French Polynesia, where he completed some of his most famous artwork Painting: Paul Gaugin

The artwork had been on display for two decades at Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza museum but in 2020 when the institution closed because of the pandemic, the painting’s owner Carmen Thyssen moved it to Andorra where she currently lives.

Her decision to take “Mata Mua” to the microstate sandwiched between Spain and France raised fears she would remove other works from her collection which are on display at the museum.

“It is expected that the painting will arrive today,” a spokeswoman for the museum told AFP.

mata-mua_gauguin-madrid

In 1989, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza bought Mata Mua at the Sotheby’s auction in New York. Painting: Paul Gauguin

The artwork will go back on display to the public “a few days after” Thyssen signs a new agreement with the Spanish state for the lease of her collection, she added. The deal is expected to be signed on Wednesday.

Painted in 1892 in vivid, flat colours, “Mata Mua” depicts two women, one playing the flute and the other listening, set against a lush Tahitian landscape.

It is one of the stars of Thyssen’s collection of several hundred paintings which are on show at the museum, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet.

Her collection had initially been displayed at the Madrid museum as part of a free loan agreement signed in February 2002 that was subsequently extended.

But in August 2021 Spain’s culture ministry announced it had reached an agreement with Thyssen to rent the collection from her for 15 years for €97.5 million ($111.5 million), with “preferential acquisition rights on all or part” of the works. The collection includes a Degas, a Hopper and a Monet.

Aside from housing her collection of works, the museum displays the collection of her late husband, Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Swiss heir to a powerful industrial lineage who died in Spain in 2002.

The Spanish state bought his collection in 1993 from $350 million, according to the museum.

SHOW COMMENTS