Friday, February 19, 2016

Barely broken darkness...

...Looking at Edvard Munch, Beyond ‘The Scream’
The paintings from the last decades of his life are a funny mix. Some, like the gaunt self-portrait called “The Night Wanderer” (1923-24), are tight, shadowy, theatrically haunted things. They look like visions of an earlier age, illuminated by gaslight. And there are outdoor scenes, set on beaches, with pale nude bodies in beating-down sunlight. The painting style can look loose to a fault, flabby, but it can also point, bracingly, toward de Kooning. The Neue Galerie show points, even more bracingly, in the other direction and situates Munch and his contemporaries in the mid-spring of their lives, in the high-yield hours of noon to dusk.

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