Phantoms, skulls, skeletons and other macabre figures populate the paintings, drawings and prints of James Ensor. His works are bizarre, ironic, occasionally belligerent and provocative, but always buoyed by a keen sense of humor, and his nightmarish motifs reveal the absurd and grotesque about everyday life.
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|James Ensor (1860-1949)
|Edited by Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark, Bernhard Mendes Bürgi
|Number of pages
|Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland, Ordrupgaard Museum, Charlottenlund, Danemark
Ensor's interests were wide-ranging; he was as enthusiastic about Rembrandt's prints as he was about the Belgian Carnival festival and Japanese masks.
In turn, early twentieth-century artists such as Alfred Kubin, Paul Klee and the German Expressionists Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner were inspired by his creative power and radical rejection of traditional European ideals of beauty.
This volume presents nearly 60 paintings and an equal number of drawings, which are published here for the first time.
James Ensor (1860-1949) was born in Brussels where he studied at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts. He first exhibited his work in 1881, and received his first solo exhibition four years later. Despite initial attacks in the press, Ensor quickly found favor in his native Belgium. By 1920 he was the subject of major exhibitions; in 1929 he was named a baron by King Albert; and in 1933 he was awarded the Legion d'honneur. Ensor rarely left Belgium, and endeared himself to the people of Ostend, where he spent most of his life, as a familiar figure about town.
> Exhibition shown at the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland and at the Ordrupgaard Museum, Charlottenlund, Danemark (2014)
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