James Ensor’s work had always been on my radar, although it was not overly familiar to me; naturally, when I heard about the show in Brussels at the ING, I used it as an excuse to visit there. Ensor was a wonderful colorist, and I very much enjoyed seeing the varied textures and sheens he applied to his painting surfaces. As an artist, art dealer and art collector, I cannot convey strongly enough the benefits of visiting one person’s retrospectives for those wanting to learn more about art. To view artists’ lifetimes of work and understand them further through audio tours, show catalogs and purchasable DVDs sheds light on their relevancies during their historic time periods and offers insight on what makes them still great today. As humbling as it is on many levels to see great works of art, if you can spend time carefully viewing and connecting to a painting, you can feel the artist’s humanity and heart. For me, very few things compare.
During this visit, I was also able to tour through the Modern Art Collection at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Belguim that included additional Ensor paintings. There, I also experienced the works of several artists of interest to me, including sculptures by Rick Wouters, the breathtaking face in Portrait de Edvuard Fetis by Louis Gallait, Portrait of De Margurite Khnopff by Fernand Khnopff, Crossing of Cows by Emile Claus (which incidentally took three years to paint and nine years of preparatory studies to create), The Player in a Trance by Oskar Kokoschka and a Francis Bacon piece (topical to me, as I am currently reading his biography, Anatomy of an Enigma). In addition, outdoor public sculptures and works inside the museum by Mexican artist Javier Marin intrigued me.
...and beautiful formal gardens added to the walk to the museums and Louise street :
James Ensor’s work had always been on my radar, although it was not overly familiar to me; naturally, when I heard about the show in Brussels at the ING, I used it as an excuse to visit there. Ensor was a wonderful colorist, and I …