This exhibition is one of a series of events in Belgium and abroad to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of James Ensor (1860-1949). It takes a distinctly different approach by associating Ensor with the work of contemporary artists.
Hareng Saur: Ensor and contemporary art takes a new step in the approach to Ensor’s oeuvre. The exhibition shows that Ensor has retained his topicality even on today’s art scene. He is taken out of his historical context and approached decisively as a timeless artist whose themes and technique are inseparably linked to the practices of many contemporary artists. Even at the start of the twenty-first century, Ensor’s subjects and points of view remain resoundingly up to date. Such subjects as the mask and the grotesque, social critique, the self-portrait, the identification with Christ, the masses, satire and death have after all lost none of their relevance in contemporary visual art. The exhibition makes unexpected links and demonstrates that in his visionary oeuvre Ensor pursued a goal that connects him to numerous contemporary artists. In addition to an extensive selection of Ensor’s work (paintings, drawings and prints), the exhibition also includes contemporary kindred spirits and counterparts in the genres of painting, sculpture, video, installation, performance, drawing, etc. Ensor’s visual world is thereby linked to those of Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Francis Alÿs, Huma Bhabha, Jake & Dinos Chapman, George Condo, Thierry De Cordier, Marlene Dumas, Thomas Hirschhorn, Yang Jiechang, Tomasz Kowalski, Jonathan Meese, Bruce Nauman, Ugo Rondinone, Dana Schutz, Cindy Sherman, Raymond Pettibon, Thomas Schütte, Philippe Vandenberg, Jan Vercruysse, Thomas Zipp and others.
List participating artists: Eija-Liisa Ahtila Pierre Alechinsky Kai Althoff Francis Alÿs Carlos Amorales Tiong Ang & Roy Villevoye Richard Artschwager Ali Banisadr Huma Bhabha Guillaume Bijl Olaf Breuning Cecily Brown Jake & Dinos Chapman Fia Cielen George Condo Leo Copers Roberto Cuoghi Thierry De Cordier Alexandra Crouwers Jos De Gruyter & Harald Thys Folkert de Jong Raoul De Keyser Willem De Kooning Jeremy Deller Wim Delvoye Nathalie Djurberg Smadar Dreyfus & Lennaart Van Oldenborgh Jean Dubuffet Marlene Dumas Sam Durant Jimmie Durham Andrea Fogli Gelitin Tatjana Gerhard Vincent Geyskens Subodh Gupta Philip Guston Daniel Guzman Thomas Hirschhorn Cameron Jamie Iratxe Jaio & Klaas van Gorkum Asger Jorn Mike Kelley Martin Kippenberger Tomasz Kowalski Elke Krystufek Eugène Leroy Jozef Legrand Emilio López-Menchero Rosilene Luduvico Rene Magritte Enrique Marty Paul McCarthy Jonathan Meese Bruce Nauman Albert Oehlen Chris Ofili Raymond Pettibon Roger Raveel Daniel Richter Gerhard Richter Pipilotti Rist Ugo Rondinone Thomas Schütte Dana Schutz Norbert Schwontkowski Cindy Sherman Helmut Stallaerts Elly Strik Koen Theys Gert & Uwe Tobias Cy Twombly Patrick Van Caeckenbergh Phillippe Vandenberg Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven Wouter van Riessen Jan Vercruysse Angel Vergara Franz West Sue Willems Yang Jiechang Jakub Julian Ziolkowski Yun-Fei Ji Thomas Zipp Artur Zmijewski.