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Edvard Munch and The Adventure of Reality

January 14, 2011

Yesterday I visited the Edvard Munch exhibition in the museum Kunsthal in Rotterdam and later The Adventure of Reality at the same place, an exhibition of international realists.

Edvard Munch
The exhibition encompasses are wide range of Munch’s work, including several of his drawings, and gives a nice insight into his development as artist. Personally I prefer his paintings to his drawings.

If I see his drawings I always think that he didn’t like to draw, that it was more a necessity than a passion, and that he therefore had no ambitions to spend more time with them than he needed to capture a certain pose of a model or the arrangement of objects. Nevertheless I do like some of his drawings, like the Sick Child I.

I find his paintings always very expressive, and I think it comes from his abilitiy to capture moods and transfer them into poses, colors, forms, lights and shadows, as in the Weeping Nude, Summer Night: Inger on the beach and of course the Madonna.

The Adventure of Reality
This exhibition shows a wide range of realist visual arts from 1850 until now, including paintings, scupltures, photographs and videos from Edward Hopper, Walker Evans, Marc Quinn and many more.

Realist visual arts fascinates me – and sometimes leaves me uncomprehending at the same time. It fascinates me because I really adore if someone has the skills to paint a scene so realistic that you think it’s a photograph, because this requires the ability to observe very closely, a very good knowledge of the materials you use and – as it seems to me – endless patience. And this is why it leaves me uncomprehending: I really do not understand why the heck someone should spend hours, days, weeks, month or even years to paint something which looks exactly like the photograph he used as reference (or the person, the room, the object, whatever). That seems to be so boring! And I do not see much creativity in this. But nevertheless, a lot of those artworks look really cool and are definately worth to be shown, as for example Gumball XI by Charles Bell.

Visiting exhibitions is a wonderful thing, inspiring, thought-provoking, relaxing. So go out and see one today!


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