Doctrinal Nourishment: Art and Anarchism in the Time of James Ensor

Hammer Building, Level 3
April 10, 2008–July 6, 2008
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Focusing on a rare impression of one of James Ensor’s most important and politically subversive etchings, Doctrinal Nourishment: Art and Anarchism in the Time of James Ensor will bring The Doctrinal Nourishment (1889–1895) together with approximately sixty works on paper selected from LACMA’s significant holdings in Ensor and German Expressionist prints, as well as from key local institutions and private collections. While it is well known and widely acknowledged that Ensor’s singular style—his radical distortion of form, his ambiguous space, his riotous color, his muddied surfaces, and his proclivity for the bizarre—both anticipated and influenced modernist movements from Symbolism and German Expressionism to Dada and Surrealism, the impact of the revolutionary politics encoded in Ensor’s revolutionary technique has received comparatively scant scholarly attention. By celebrating the acquisition of The Doctrinal Nourishment, this exhibition will examine the scope of this remarkable artist’s influence, and add texture to our understanding of his pivotal position in the history of modern art.

Online Exhibition

This exhibition was curated by Theresa Papanikolas, Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellow, prints and drawings, and organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Image: Baron James Ensor (Belgium, Ostende, 1860–1949), The Doctrinal Nourishment (Alimentation doctrinaire), 1889–95 (detail), print, etching printed with tone and hand-colored with white gouache and with red, yellow, and blue chalk and watercolor, image: 9 3/8 x 7 1/16 in. (23.81 x 17.94 cm); sheet: 9 1/4 x 11 5/8 in. (23.5 x 29.53 cm); mat: 16 x 20 in. (40.64 x 50.8 cm), purchased with funds generously provided by the Joan Palevsky Bequest (M.2007.6). © James Ensor Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SABAM, Brussels.