201008: Essl Museum: Muntean/Rosenblum – Between what was and what might be

Essl Museum: Muntean/Rosenblum – Between what was and what might be The Caravaggio-Kids Whoever has been to a more or less decently equipped art history museum, will experience one déjà vu after the other at the Muntean/Rosenblum exhibit at the Essl Museum. Scenes showing groups of youngsters seem to come straight out of a Neorealismo film. The protagonists are depicted in postures ranging from languish to elegant or simply musing about life under a moon-lit sky. One has come across these kinds of paintings in works by Rubens, Titian, Tintoretto, and Caravaggio. One painting shows a young man, spreading his arms like the disciple in the Supper at Emmaus, similar to a composition painted by Caravaggio 1601. And another work is based on Mantegna’s famous “Lamentation over the Dead Christ.” The youngsters take on pretentious postures; at times their vulnerability is underlined with their nudity; and when Muntean/Rosenblum show a young man clad in white shorts, the painting invokes similarities to “Christ Bearing the Cross”. The film “Shroud”, however, borders on kitsch. It narrates the story of a man in a mobile home, a Caravaggio-youngster, and an ephebic girl, all performing unmotivated actions; or maybe no actions at all. All of this is accentuated by massive choirs – and thereby generates pathos. Muntean/Rosenblum's style of painting is fascinating – especially because of its art historical references – and it is undoubtedly masterly. But the declamatory-artificial behaviour of these kids can be unnerving. Essl Museum 3400 Klosterneuburg An der Donau 1, until 01.02.2009 www.essl.museum

Essl Museum
3400 Klosterneuburg, An der Donau-Au 1
Tel: +43-2243-370 50 150
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