Masquerade, Makeup & Ensor

From September 2024, several Antwerp museums will highlight the oeuvre of Ensor. At MoMu, James Ensor’s explorations about masquerade, coquettishness, the playful, the grotesque, and the notion of physical decay are being brought up to date.

Visitor information

Description of the exhibition

Throughout history, people have viewed makeup with suspicion and compared it to wearing a mask, a mask behind which – in particular – a woman would hide. Today, makeup has become a multibillion-dollar industry that nonetheless confronts us with our physical impermanence, imagined imperfections and existential fears. But makeup is also a means of personal expression, artistic experimentation and freedom.

This exhibition presents work by makeup artists and visual artists who delve more deeply into such themes as the representation of women, physical and digital face filters, distorted body images and the ritual of making up.

Exhibition under the lead of
Curators: Kaat Debo, Elisa De Wyngaert, Romy Cockx

Teaser image: Genieve Figgis, detail Ladies at Versailles, 2022, Courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech © Photo: Nicolas Brasseur.

Ensor 2024

In 2024, it will be 75 years since the death of James Ensor. But the avant-garde artist lives on in the city of Antwerp, home to more work by James Ensor than anywhere else. From September 2024, several Antwerp museums will highlight the artist’s oeuvre with a series of ambitious exhibitions. The focus is on Ensor’s lasting relevance through its influence on contemporary art, fashion and photography.