Munch & Expressionism

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Lance Esplund reviews Munch and Expressionism at the Neue Galerie, New York, on view through June 13, 2016.

Esplund writes: "… what’s unusual about this exhibition, which emphasizes the influence that Edvard Munch … and his German and Austrian contemporaries had on one another and the affinities they shared, is that its headliner often feels like a supporting player… Often, the strongest pictures here, though in dialogue with Munch, were created by other artists. Munch’s zombie-like mobs in his urban series 'Angst' are models for Kirchner’s 1908 'Street, Dresden' (reworked 1919; dated on painting 1907)—among this exhibition’s knockouts. Comparatively, Munch’s figures merely illustrate despair, whereas Kirchner’s charged, acidic reds, pinks and yellow-greens, punchy yet slow-building, feel like emotions flooding to the surface."

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