If You Like the Bizarre and Grotesque, Catch the Ensor Show at the Art Institute

 

Chances are you’ve never heard of the artist James Ensor. He was Belgian. Lived in the city of Ostend. Which he rarely left. Born 1860. Died 1949. The world virtually turned upside down during his lifetime. Evolution and Relativity. Quantum  mechanics and an expanding universe.  Psychoanalysis and existentialism.  Economic peaks and valleys. Revolution and War.

Sweeping changes in culture and thought.  Tradition shaken to its very foundation.

Art of course reflected all the transformations.  Impressionism. Expressionism. Cubism. Dadaism. Surrealism.

In painting, even a casual student, like myself, is familiar with Monet, or Van Gogh, Picasso, or Dali.  But Ensor?  Somehow, his place in all the tumult and turmoil had escaped me.

Until I read about him in today’s Tribune. In the Arts and Entertainment section .  There art critic Lori Waxman writes compellingly about this enigmatic artist who was a composite of contradictions.

Waxman puts it this way: “How to square the artist of bourgeois

Article source: http://www.chicagonow.com/quark-in-the-road/2015/01/if-you-like-the-bizarre-and-grotesque-catch-the-ensor-show-at-the-art-institute/

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