Early in his career, Belgian painter James Ensor (1860-1949) broke away from Impressionism, rejecting its prettiness in favor of an original, highly dramatic style. Incorporating elements of satire, caricature, masquerade, and the grotesque, Ensor was a sharp observer of his social and political milieu and a skilled controversialist. Bridging the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and not easily fitting into one particular movement or group, his drawings are increasingly valued for their innovative subjects and techniques, as well as the strong social criticism at their heart.
This volume, published to accompany the first major New York exhibition of Ensor's drawings, includes more than one hundred plates, most of them in color. Essays by Susan M. Canning (College of New Rochelle), Marcel De Maeyer (University of Ghent), and Robert Hoozee (Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent), along with a chronology by Xavier Tricot, serve to place Ensor's drawings in the context of both artistic and historical developments of his time and his oeuvre.
Catherine de Zegher is executive director of the Drawing Center in New York City and cocurator (with Robert Hoozee) of the exhibition "Between Street and Mirror: The Drawings of James Ensor."
Distributed for the Drawing Center