And yet it would be a big misunderstanding to think that whatever has no form, no shape and no weight — in other words, our thoughts, feelings, notions, ideas, memories, mental images — always dissolves in the presence of the reality of the now. One could also argue the opposite, that reality is something we have learned how to see, that it appears in and affirms an image we have beforehand. Of course, it isn't that simple either, but the fluid zone between the world in itself and our image of it is what painting explores, that is its core activity. That we still remember Munch, and that his art is still alive in our culture, is because he went further in exploring that territory than most of his contemporaries.
But in what way is his art still alive? The actual pictures exist in actual places — most of them in museums — in the same way that the motifs they depict exist in concrete places. But it isn't in the realm of the concrete that they live on, it is in our notional world, in the minds of each and every one of us.