James Ensor (Kunsthalle Mannheim)
Inge Herold, Mathias Listl, Sabine Taevernier, Herwig Todts, Xavier Tricot
Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2021
The Belgian painter and graphic artist James Ensor (1860–1949) has a special place in the history of the art of the twentieth century. Categorized as a “painter of masks,” he styled himself as an individualist and outsider, but was also a harbinger and generator of impulses for future generations. The publication accompanying the exhibition at the Kunsthalle Mannheim focuses on the fate of one picture, Masks and Death of 1897, which was once part of the collection, was seized by the National Socialists in 1937 and is found today at the Musee des Beaux-Arts in Liège. Grouped around this work and the picture Still Life with Rooster, which was acquired as a replacement in the 1950s, are numerous other works dealing with the set of motifs of “self-portrait—mask—death—still life,” and show how closely interwoven these topics are in Ensor’s oeuvre.