141209: Leopold Museum: Edvard Munch and the Uncanny

Leopold Museum: Edvard Munch and the Uncanny The Leopold Museum dedicated its fall exhibition to the presentation of the “uncanny”. Posters showing Munch’s work “Angst” (1894) lure the audience into the exhibition “Edvard Munch and the Uncanny”. The paintings depict everything could conceivably threaten human existence: emotional and physical sickness, poverty, death and the devil, figures from the next world and mythology. Ghosts and wild animals emerge from the background and hassle mankind. Alongside Munch, the exhibition includes works by Ensor and Kubin as well as other renowned artists known for their depictions of the uncanny. Among them Goya’s “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” from Los Caprichos, as well as Piranesi’s “Carceri”, and – in an immediate comparison – variations by Kubin, Kittelsen and Laerman. Daumier, Gauguin, Klinger, Klimt, Schiele and his teacher Griepenkerl, Jettmar, Böcklin, Füssli, Gabriel von Max, Khnopff and Victor Hugo, as well as a few Italians: they all deal with masquerade, with nightmares in the form of fantasy creatures, with occultism, with the plague, syphilis, insanity and the horrors of war. The “Tree of the hanged” by the Italian Barzagni stands for the “uncanny home”: from far away and at first sight it depicts a beautiful Christmas tree and only a closer look reveals a seemingly idyllic ambience of abysmal cynicism of an Italian patriot compared to a pacifist. Thanks to the way the works are arranged, the plethora of 200 paintings as well as the subject becomes manageable. Since the exhibition does not offer a “Happy End”, a distanced and reflected viewing of the happenings on the wall is recommended. By the way, there are references for suitable music on the walls. Care for an example? For death and devil “Danse macabre” by Camille Saint-Saens. By Maria-Gabriela Martinkowic Leopold Museum 1070 Vienna, MuseumsQuartier until 18.01.10 http://www.leopoldmuseum.org

Leopold Museum
1070 Wien, Museumsquartier
Tel: +43 1 525 70-0, Fax: +43 1 525 70-1500
Email: leopoldmuseum@leopoldmuseum.org
Öffnungszeiten: Mi-So 10-18 h

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