Review of Emin/Munch The Loneliness of the Soul

I went to see Emin/Munch The Loneliness of the Soul at The Royal Academy of Arts

I went to see Emin/Munch The Loneliness of the Soul at The Royal Academy of Arts, London on 29th November 2020.

The Royal Academy is 250 years old. The back entrance (which I came in through) looks like a Greek temple, but inside the building it is more exciting. When you get to the entrance of the exhibition there are photographic self-portraits of the artists looking downcast, here they are below:  


Norwegian artist Edvard Munch was born in 1863, and British artist Tracey Emin was born exactly 100 years later in 1963. For this exhibition Tracey Emin went to Norway where she chose artwork by Munch to display with some of her own work. I think she did that because her work is similar to his in an emotional way.

The similarities between the work in this exhibition is that they both paint from the heart, they depict loneliness, unhappiness and helplessness through the form of naked women. They both leave a bit of the bare canvas. I think they both devoted their life to exploring/showing sadness. However, the difference between their artwork is that Tracey Emin shows herself in her paintings but Edvard Munch shows his sadness in his paintings through other people. Another difference is that Edvard Munch uses lots of colours and Tracy Emin only uses a limited palette of colours. 

I liked the way that Munch used lots of bright and contrasting colours together and that he used big brush strokes in opposite directions.  

ddd28d02f6b4b56f09ef4ffaf9ec44adcb165752.pngThe Death of Marat 

 I enjoyed Tracy Emin’s model of a bird.

6246792bad8bdbc9acfc358cfa2e65b715502477.pngMe with The only place you came to me was in my sleep by Tracy Emin

Overall I would recommend this exhibition to age 13+.  

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Luca Colizzi

Luca Colizzi

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  • Barry Rosen

    On 18 February 2021, 13:57 Barry Rosen commented:

    Although I had viewed this exhibition I was fascinated to be told that both Artists were born 100 years apart. I also found Luca’s critique of the work most interesting.
    Especially in the way he compares and contrasts the style of both artists and what he believes motivated them.
    The article was didactic, carefully considered
    and made me reflect on why Tracy Emin had considered to include the particular work of Edvard Munch exhibited in the exhibition.

  • Ophelia Appleby

    On 19 February 2021, 14:17 Ophelia Appleby Kickstart Team commented:

    A very interesting take - I fully agree that both artists paint from a deeply emotional place, but in different ways - Emin being such a damaged person, and Munch's concern with mental health. The task of summing up this kind of exhibition and particularly the emotional impact it has on one-self is by no means an easy one and I love that you have noted the small details that you liked specifically, such things are important and equally noteworthy as the intended or interpreted meaning behind the work.

  • Judy Rosen

    On 19 February 2021, 15:47 Judy Rosen commented:

    An interesting and thoughtful review of a very adult and complex exhibition, which opens a door into very deep emotional responses of both these artists to their own inner worlds a century apart.
    Luca also gives his personal response to the details that caught his eye regarding the artists very different techniques.

  • Emrys Green

    On 20 February 2021, 15:23 Emrys Green Voice Team commented:

    A great review that really looks at the artist's motivations, the way the present their work and great to see how Emin reflects her work through the similarities and contrasts of Munch as inspiration. What has this exhibition inspired you to look in to, or take from the experience?

  • Luca Colizzi

    On 14 March 2021, 14:58 Luca Colizzi commented:

    It inspired me to use a different style. I saw in one of Munch's artworks he used criss cross brush work. I then made a piece of work using a similar technique.

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