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Ensor

Hardcover, 8.3 x 10.2 in., 1.26 lb, 96 pages
US$ 16
Availability: In Stock
Enter the ominous and enigmatic world of masks, the macabre, and mockery as we explore Belgian maverick James Ensor’s unique repertoire of ghoulish scenes and gallows humor. An Expressionist before the term was even coined, Ensor continues to influence generations of artists through his distinctively dark satire, which drew on a rich stylistic repertoire from the Gothic fantastical to the Christian visionary.

Maverick master

An enigmatic world of masks and the macabre

An Expressionist before the term was coined, James Ensor (1860–1949) was the classic insider-outsider enigma. He knew all the right art-world figures but loathed most of them. His style lurched from the Gothic fantastical to the Christian visionary. He was a cosmopolitan trailblazer of modernism, but lived reclusively in an attic room in the resort town of Ostend.

For all his elusiveness, Ensor influenced generations of artists through his vivid often gruesome paintings, prints, and drawings. He is cited in particular for his use of dark satire and allegory, his innovative lighting, and for his interest in carnival and performance, showcased in The Entry of Christ into Brussels in 1889 as well as in his repertoire of self-portraits in which he employs masking, travesty, and role-playing to adopt such varied guises as Christ on the Cross and a gender-bending dandy.

This introduction to Ensor explores the richness and variety of his imagery through key examples of his macabre, maverick oeuvre.
The author

Ulrike Becks-Malorny studied painting in Geneva and art history in Bochum, Germany. Since gaining her doctorate in 1990, she has worked as an exhibition organizer and freelance author. She lives in Bonn, Germany.

Ensor
Hardcover, 8.3 x 10.2 in., 1.26 lb, 96 pages
ISBN 978-3-8365-6056-6
Edition: English
ISBN 978-3-8365-6055-9
Edition: French
Born back in 1985, the Basic Art Series has evolved into the best-selling art book collection ever published. Each book in TASCHEN’s Basic Art series features:
  • a detailed chronological summary of the life and oeuvre of the artist, covering his or her cultural and historical importance
  • a concise biography
  • approximately 100 illustrations with explanatory captions
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