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The Art Institute of Chicago

Edvard Munch "Anxiety"

Edvard Munch "Anxiety"

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From: The Art Institute of Chicago
Limited Edition: 19
Exhibition: Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, and Myth
Material: Printed vinyl
Dimensions: 29" x 99" (73cm x 251cm)

Hanging Hardware Included


Anxiety in your life can make you crazy. But up on your wall, Anxiety looks great! Edvard Munch is known for his surreal, expressionist explorations into the human psyche. Bold imagery and vividly painted faces evoke strong emotions in his work, and become part of scenes rife with tension. Seen on 19 banners from the The Art Institute of Chicago, Munch's 1894 Anxiety captures the human response to the overwhelming world around us.


As a leader of both Expressionism and Symbolism, Norwegian painter Edvard Munch has gained world renown for his powerful, mysterious, often eerie vision of the modern world. His unique artistry first found expression while he was in Paris. The Post-Impressionists' break with nature liberated Munch, and he coupled this with an almost lyrical understanding of color.

The content of his work strives to express some understanding of basic human experiences: birth, love, and death. His aesthetics drew not only from German artists as is often thought, but also from the traditions of his native Norway. Munch's most famous work, The Scream, 1893, is iconic of his existentialist bent, as seen when he described the work's inspiration:

"I was walking along a path with two friends - the sun was setting - suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city - my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."
The banners from this exhibition feature a similar existentialist work, Anxiety,1894, with a tumultuous red sky and angst-ridden figures reminiscent of The Scream. Munch hoped to show "people behind their masks - smiling, phlegmatic - composed faces - ...along a twisted road - at the end of which was the grave." A dark red box near the bottom of the banner includes the museum's name in white letters, "The Art Institute of Chicago". The other side of the banner is dark red with white text that reads "Becoming Edvard Munch/through April 26" with the sponsors name and logo at the bottom "Bank of America".


These banners were displayed around Chicago from February 14 through April 26, 2009 to promote the exhibition Becoming Edvard Munch: Influence, Anxiety, and Myth at The Art Institute of Chicago.

About the Artist 

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