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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Paul Nash and James Ensor

Paul Nash opens at Tate Britain on 26 October. Paul Laity has an excellent piece in The Guardian on Nash and his work:

'Nash’s transformations of reality were the product of a visionary sensibility that harked back to William Blake and Samuel Palmer; he searched for inner meanings in the landscape, what he called the “things behind” ...

he was caught up, as ever, in looking at the world and seeing patterns and mysterious “things behind”. An artist both full of wonder and wonderful, knowing the end was near, painted pictures that were stranger than ever.'

Paul and Margaret Nash practiced Christian Science, and Paul shared a Christian Science practitioner with Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. Hepworth, Nicholson and Winifred Nicholson were profoundly influenced by Christian Science (a faith that was of great importance to Stanley Spencer’s wife, Hilda Carline).

For Intrigue: James Ensor by Luc Tuymans at the Royal Academy of Arts from 29 October 2016 — 29 January 2017, Tuymans, a fellow Belgian and admirer of Ensor, will look back at Ensor’s singular career through a selection of his most bizarrely brilliant and gloriously surreal creations.
Astrid Schenk has written that

'It was 1888 when James Ensor began work on his monumental painting Christ's Entry into Brussels in 1889. The painting would become one of his most iconic and eagerly analysed compositions, and is now regarded as a milestone in the history of modern art. Not surprisingly, perhaps, it has also encouraged art historians to take a closer look at the representation of religious subject matter in Ensor's oeuvre in general. The focus of this scholarly attention has been mainly on Ensor's various approaches to the Crucifixion (especially the grotesque or sinister elements in some of his renderings), as well as on the series entitled The Aureoles of Christ or the Sensitivities of the Light, which Ensor first exhibited in 1887, and on different versions of The Temptation of Saint Anthony, Abbot of Egypt ...

The size of his religious oeuvre, the great variation in religious subject matter, and the fact that he continued throughout his life to produce religious work are strong indications that, to Ensor, religious sources of inspiration were key to achieving his artistic goals. This relevance went well beyond the supposed identification of the artist with the suffering of Christ and the exploration of particular visual effects. Ensor borrowed from the Christian iconography in order to be able to visualise his ideas in a recognisable idiom and to conduct visual experiments in his quest for exaltation.'


Gungor - You.

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