Indepth Arts News: |
2009-06-28 until 2009-09-21
Museum of Modern Art
New York, NY,
The Museum of Modern Art presents James Ensor - the first exhibition at an American institution to feature the full range of his media in over 30 yearsófrom June 28 through September 21, 2009. James Ensor (Belgian, 1860-1949) was a major figure in the Belgian avant-garde of the late nineteenth century and an important precursor to the development of Expressionism in the early twentieth. In both respects, he has influenced generations of later artists.
Ensorís daring, experiential work ranges from traditional subject matter such as still life, landscape, and religious symbolism to more singular visions, including fantastical scenes with masks, skeletons, and other startling figures. He made work in a wide range of styles and dimensions, from large-scale paintings and drawings to tiny prints of only a few inches. The exhibition elucidates Ensorís contribution to modern art, including his innovative and allegorical use of light, his prominent use of satire, his deep interest in carnival and performance, and his own self-fashioning and use of masking, travesty, and role-playing.
Approximately 120 of Ensorís paintings, drawings, and prints are included in the exhibition, most of which date from the artistís creative peak, 1880 to the mid-1890s. The exhibition is organized chronologically, and within that chronology are thematic groupings such as Ensorís self-portraiture, or his satirical works. A number of works, including the first two drawings from his monumental Aureoles series of 1885Ė86, The Lively and Radiant: The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem and The Rising: Christ Shown to the People, have never before been seen in the United States.
Masks Confronting Death
Oil on canvas, 32 x 39 1/2" (81.3 x 100.3 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund
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