Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 316

James Ensor Paintings, Drawings, and Prints

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 29 giugno 2009

james ensorNew York, until 21/9/2009 The Museum of Modern Art  11 West 53rd Street, The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Gallery, sixth floor  The exhibition is organized by Anna Swinbourne, Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, with Susan M. Canning, Professor of Art History, College of New Rochelle, and Jane Panetta, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art. It is on view in The Joan and Preston Robert Tisch Gallery, sixth floor.  Ms. Swinbourne explains, -The diversity of Ensor’s work has enabled him to slip cunningly out of the grasp of anyone seeking to seize and place him, whether in an artistic movement or a historical continuum. This is part of the appeal that, then and now, has seduced viewers of his work as well as artists-who have come to revere him as an -artist’s artist,’ a title bestowed only on the most deserving.-  The first painting on view in the exhibition is The Scandalized Masks (1883), an example of the evocative paintings of masks in portraits and fictive dramas for which Ensor is best known. Ensor had a number of lifelong obsessions that were prominent subjects in his work-masks, light, himself, and death. Skulls or full-body skeletons appear in his works repeatedly and in a variety of ways. In Skeletons Trying to Warm Themselves (1889), a group of skulls draped in fabric absurdly and vainly seek heat from a dead stove. Ensor used the image of death to depict people he despised, such as the two skeleton-critics ripping apart a witty, metaphorical version of himself in Skeletons Fighting over a Pickled Herring (1891). And death was even a theme of Ensor’s self-portraits, as with My Skeletonized Portrait (1889) and The Skeleton Painter (1895 or 1896). These two works were based on photographs: he transformed his pictured naturalistic countenance into skeleton versions of himself. Ensor’s use of photography as pictorial source material and his practice of collage were consistent with his experimental nature, as they are both techniques that placed Ensor ahead of his time.  The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue edited by Anna Swinborne. The exhibition website, features approximately 120 works, which visitors may zoom in on to explore details. Audio and texts explain the significance of certain works. An expanded chronology of Ensor’s life is included, as are excerpts from the essays in the exhibition catalogue. The site was designed and developed by Shannon Darrough, Senior Media Developer, Department of Digital Media, The Museum of Modern Art. The site will launch on June 28, 2009, in conjunction with the public opening of the exhibition. (Image: James Ensor)

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