Ryan Wong reviews the exhibition Munch 150 at the Nasjonalmuseet, Oslo, Norway, on view through October 13, 2013.
Wong writes: "When Munch died, he left his works — some 1,000 paintings, and thousands more prints and watercolors, to the municipality of Oslo. It was an act of national pride, and one that made this celebration possible. Unfortunately, it is also why his works are not seen more outside of Norway; because most are fragile, they rarely travel, and when they do it is only a few at a time. The world knows Munch the angst-filled romantic; it takes a trip to Oslo to find the sunny nationalist, the detached elder, the peripatetic intellectual. But now that New York has its own Scream and this exhibition attracts international attention, we have a chance to complicate our view of this painter, who showed us both the horrific and luminous."