Maclean's, March 3, 1997 v110 n9 p14(1).
You scream, I scream....
(Edvard Munch's 19th-century painting 'The Scream' is one of the most recognized and reproduced art works in the world)
Just what was Edvard Munch thinking
when he painted The Scream?
Critics howled when the Norwegian artist first exhibited the lurid canvas in Berlin in 1893. "It caused a huge scandal," says Michael Parke-Taylor, curator of a major Munch exhibit opening at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto this week. But the bleak, agonizing figure depicted in Munchs canvas - and so alien to the naturalistic imagery of the 19th century - resonates with meaning in the wired world of the 1990s. In recent years, The Scream has joined The Mona Lisa as one of art historys most reproduced icons. "The image has been used for every social and political agenda you can possibly think of, from feminism to the environment to politics," notes Parke-Taylor. Just how deeply the image has penetrated popular culture is clear in the art gallerys companion exhibit, which features editorial and humorous cartoons, posters, advertising material and an array of mugs, T-shirts, mouse-pads, inflatable dolls and even a beer bottle and night-light emblazoned with The Scream. Says Parke-Taylor: "It has become this image of modern mantotally stressed out and angst-ridden."