The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Saturday, July 4, 2015

Kunstmuseum Basel opens extensive retrospective of the work of James Ensor
James Ensor, Die Intrige, 1890.
BASEL.- James Ensor (1860–1949) was a visionary artist whose whimsical, fantastical, ironic, and occasionally aggressive oeuvre strongly influenced the art of the twentieth century. The extensive retrospective at the Kunstmuseum Basel is based on the holdings of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp, which has the world’s largest and most important collection of Ensor’s works, complemented by important works from Swiss collections. The show features representative selections both from the less well-known early oeuvre and from the period of the famous mask paintings as well as the late oeuvre, which has recently been the focus of renewed scholarly interest. With around fifty paintings, a similar number of drawings, and prints, the exhibition presents a comprehensive panorama of Ensor’s eminent oeuvre, which continues to inspire artists.

Masks, phantoms, skulls, skeletons, and other macabre characters gathered in bizarre situations: the work of the Belgian artist James Ensor (1860–1949) is whimsical, fantastical, ironic, occasionally aggressive, but also suffused with a profound sense of humor. His offbeat and baffling motifs, which highlight the absurdity of human existence, inspired artists like Alfred Kubin, Paul Klee, and the German expressionists Emil Nolde and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner as well as the Surrealists, who claimed Ensor as their ancestor. The artist himself thought that his multifaceted oeuvre “anticipated all modern movements … in all directions.”

In 2009, a retrospective shown at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, introduced Ensor’s art to wide international audiences. Ensor started out as a plein-air painter and a representative of European realism and naturalism before developing a specifically Belgian variant of Symbolism. In his third and by far best-known creative period, the grotesque becomes the defining characteristic of his art. He stages European carnival masks as well as Asian masks of various provenance in bizarre settings.

Nineteenth-century art had occasionally hinted at the abysses of the human soul, thus in the inscrutable scenes of Black Romanticism or in caricatures; Ensor systematically plumbs them, exposing the absurdity and vanity of human existence in garish confrontations such as Skeletons Fighting over a Hanged Man and The Astonishment of the Mask Wouse, pictures that unite compositional ingenuity and pointed comedy with trenchant social critique.

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp has the world’s largest and most important collection of Ensor’s works. It is closed for renovations for several years, creating an opportunity to bring the entire Antwerp painting collection to Basel. The exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Basel includes around fifty paintings and as many drawings, some of which have never been on public display, and complements the Antwerp collection with paintings from Swiss collections—some of these works have not been shown in more than seventy years—and prints from the Kunstmuseum Basel’s Department of Prints and Drawings.

Today's News

February 18, 2014

Exhibition in Dusseldorf presents a selection of editions by German artist Gerhard Richter

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces acquisition of iconic Jeff Koons sculpture

81-year-old German recluse Cornelius Gurlitt launches website on 'Nazi art' trove

Kunstmuseum Basel opens extensive retrospective of the work of James Ensor

Unseen Polaroid's of Kate Moss taken by designer Tom Ford to be sold by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

Magicians of Printmaking: The Collection of Stamperia d'Arte 2RC to be offered at Christie's

The collection of 'Les Trois Garçons' to be offered at Christie's South Kensington in March

Cabinet of Curiosities: Sotheby’s Paris announces a thought-provoking sale on March 26

Lewis Carroll letter written to a friend on the perils of fame for sale at Bonhams

Bonhams Post War and Contemporary Department makes key new appointment

Cité du Cinéma in Paris offers an interactive journey into the world of Star Wars

Saffronart's back-to-back live Modern and Contemporary Indian art auctions show art market strength

"Forrest Bess: Seeing Things Invisible" opens at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College

The Opulent Eye: Important 19th century decorative arts to be offered at Christie's London

"Oscar Tuazon: Alone in an empty room" opens at Museum Ludwig in Cologne

Dallas Art Fair to anchor official 'Dallas Arts Week' with over 90 international galleries

The Lázaro Galdiano Museum inaugurates "Entre Tiempos. Works from the Jozami Collection"

Bonhams announces Sale of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art

Exhibition about the disappearance of the middle class opens at Vienna's Secession

Chinese Export Silver: Adrien von Ferscht joins Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions

"Luis Jiménez: Native Son" opens at El Paso Museum of Art

New artwork by Nina Katchadourian installed as part of Murals of La Jolla

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Exhibition presents French Impressionist's most important and provocative paintings

2.- Sotheby's auction achieves the second-highest total for any sale ever held in London

3.- High Museum of Art premieres major United States exhibition of Alex Katz landscapes

4.- China's Great Wall is disappearing due to adverse natural conditions and reckless human activities

5.- Van Gogh to Pollock: Exhibition at Milwaukee Art Museum presents art world rebels

6.- Confederate flag furor spreads to stained glass windows at Washington National Cathedral

7.- Christie's London Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale achieves $112,908,380

8.- First comprehensive show on the history, politics and culture of homosexuality_ies opens in Berlin

9.- Sotheby's to re-launch Irish Art sales in London; Sale includes important nude by William Orpen

10.- Centre Pompidou devotes a major exhibition to Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum's work

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Social Network Manager and Translator: Norma Cristina Pérez Ayala Cano
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site