Whilst the debate in Norway continues as to who the possible purchaser of Munch’s “The Scream” might be, the famous auction house calls the 02 May event an honour.
It has been reported two buyers could be amongst actual future owners, the Sheik of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
In a press release, Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York states, “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.”
“Instantly recognizable, this is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness,” he says, estimating the masterpiece’s sale price could exceed 80 million dollars.
Oslo National Museum of Art, Architecture, and Design curator Øystein Ustvedt tells The Foreigner the work’s qualities are, “The strongly reduced iconic structure of the image, the intimate dialogue between the main figure and the scenery, and between illusionistic space and painterly flatness, the bright colours and sensual waving lines, and the all-over immediately, sketch-like execution.”
Why do you think it became so famous?
“It deals with the theme of “modern angst”, and in a wider perspective, basic human emotions. I think post-war existentialism helped it a bit spiralling into a contemporary icon. In a very particular way it is both genuine modern and timeless. It is also an image which is very easy to recognize, copy, imitate and make fun of,” concludes Mr Ustvedt.
The auction at Sotheby’s precedes next year’s 150th anniversary of Edvard Munch’s birth.
This version has never been on public before in the UK or US, apart from briefly in the National Gallery in Washington D.C. many tens of years ago, having been in seller Petter Olsen’s family for more than 70 years. His father, Thomas, was a friend, neighbour, and patron of Munch.
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