James Ensor

Front Cover
Anna Swinbourne, Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
The Museum of Modern Art, 2009 - Art - 208 pages
3 Reviews
James Ensor's painting of 1887, "The Temptation of St. Anthony," now in The Museum of Modern Art's collection, established the artist as one of the boldest painters of all his contemporaries. Ensor (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, yet his work is underappreciated in the United States, and far too little seen. This striking volume, published on the occasion of Ensor's major 2009 exhibition in New York, gives the artist the attention he so greatly deserves. It presents approximately 90 works, organized thematically, examining Ensor's Modernity, his innovative and allegorical approach to light, his prominent use of satire, his deep interest in carnival and performance and, finally, his own self-fashioning and use of masking, travesty and role-playing. Works in the full range of his media--painting, printing and drawing--are presented in an overlapping network of themes and images to produce a complete picture of this daring body of art. The most comprehensive volume on the artist available in English, this remarkable, scholarly volume reveals Ensor as a socially engaged and self-critical artist involved with the issues of his times and contemporary debates on the very nature of Modernism.

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Review: James Ensor

User Review  - Mcftdhorapusswrtrvocm - Goodreads

The essays were really informative about Ensor's general life, but also proposed interesting ideas about his work. Read full review

Review: James Ensor

User Review  - Andypants - Goodreads

Lots of informative essays. I wish the reproductions were larger. Read full review


Mating James Elisor
Carnival of the Modern
A View from Ostend

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About the author (2009)

James Ensor grew up in the seaside town of Ostend, Belgium, where he returned after studying at the AcadEmie de Bruxelles, and worked for the rest of his life. Ensor painted in a studio that had once been his aunt and uncleis shell and souvenir shop, and although he shut its doors to the public, he left some of the merchandise as it was. As a leading member of the avant-garde group Les XX (The Twenty) he shared their harsh critical reception, but after Les XX disbanded, he continued to work and eventually won wide acclaim. By the time of his death in 1949 he had been made a baron, and his home is now the Ensor House museum.

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