Art Buzz April 13, 2012: Edvard Munch’s Modern art masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction at Sotherby’s

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The masterpiece ‘The Scream’ up for auction

Source: CNN, 4-13-12

It’s one of the world’s most famous paintings; Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” is an iconic image of despair. And now a version of the painting is up for grabs in a public auction next month. But the winning bidder may also need to fork out money for extra security because this masterpiece also holds the dubious honor of being the “most stolen work of art”.

“Shivering with anxiety, I felt the great scream in nature,” so wrote Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1895. They are lines from a poem that inspired one of the most famous paintings in the world. Simon Shaw with Sotheby’s says, “What Munch was trying to do was create the modern life of the soul as he described it. a new kind of history painting for the godless age where he would draw on his own personal experiences of love anxiety and death and create universal resonate images that we can all understand”

Munch created four versions of the painting, three of which are on public display in museums in Norway. This is the only version in private hands and the only one to feature the poem that inspired it hand painted on the original frame and the only one for sale to be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York in May. Shaw says, “Very challenging to put a price on a work so globally recognizable so famous as this one. Great modern masterpieces can sell for a bit over a hundred million dollars so we’re estimating that the scream will sell for somewhere above $80 million today.”

So what is so captivating about this painting? Shaw says, “It’s really a key image in the history of modern art. but on the other hand it’s become something quite different. It’s become a cornerstone of popular culture if you like.”…READ MORE

Sotheby’s London presents one of the most famous masterpieces in the world

Staff stand guard by Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ as it is hung for display at Sotheby’s Auction Rooms in London, Thursday, April 12, 2012. The picture made with pastels is one of four versions of the composition, and dates from 1895, it will be auctioned in the Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in New York on May 2, with an estimated price of 80 million dollars. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth. 
Sotheby’s today presented Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream will lead its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 2 May 2012. The iconic work is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa. The present version of The Scream, which dates from 1895, is one of four versions of the composition and the only version still in private hands. It will be on view in London for the first time ever, with the exhibition at Sotheby’s opening on 13 April. In New York, and also for the first time ever, it will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s in advance of the sale beginning 27 April.
The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch. “Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity, and it is an immense privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with one of the most important works of art in private hands” commented Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York. “Instantly recognizable, this is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived. At a time of great critical interest in the artist, and with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2013, this spring is a particularly compelling time for The Scream to appear on the market. For collectors and institutions, the opportunity to acquire such a singularly-influential masterpiece is unprecedented in recent times.” Mr. Shaw continued: “Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value. The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.”…READ MORE
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