Ensor – Picasso
13.3. – 20.6.2021 | Reinhart am Stadtgarten
Two of the great masters of modern art meet for the first time ever in this exhibition: James Ensor (1860 – 1949) and Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973). The two pioneering artists are juxtaposed under the leitmotif of the masquerade. The mask as object and symbol, the disguise as a game with identity and staging are central questions of artistic creation for Ensor as well as for Picasso.
While Picasso came to Cubism through his study of African masks as cult objects and thus radically renewed art, Ensor is considered the “painter of masks” par excellence. Early on, the mask appeared as a source of inspiration to both of them and left its mark on their respective works. They approached the objects in terms of motif, form and symbolism and transferred it into their work. These artistic appropriations are complemented by the interest of jugglers and actors: the sad and beautiful spectacle of the circus with Picasso, the performative ritual of carnival with Ensor. It was above all the look behind the scenes, the lifting of the mask, that interested them. Because ultimately, dressing up and costuming is always a question of roles and identities – including one’s own. Both of them were intensively engaged in self-questioning and reflected on their own artistic existence by playing with an alter ego and not least with the masquerade of self-dramatization.
Based on drawings and prints by both artists, combined with selected paintings and sculptures, an exciting dialogue emerges, which enables a new mutual view of the art of Picasso and Ensor.
With kind support