July 31, 2014

Two Upcoming Events Spotlight James Ensor’s Influence On Contemporary Art And Culture


MEDIA CONTACT:           
Alexandria Sivak
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6473


LOS ANGELES –James Ensor’s reputation as a rogue, anti-establishment painter ahead of his time continues to resonate with artists today, more than 60 years after his death. Two events at the Getty Center focus on Ensor’s influence on contemporary art, as well as how his work prophesized issues of human disconnection and the decline of the public sphere. The events are presented in conjunction with the exhibition The Scandalous Art of James Ensor, on view at the Getty Center through September 7, 2014.

On August 7, painter Marc Trujillo will moderate Ensor and Artists, a panel in which artists Tom Knechtel and Laurie Lipton discuss how Ensor continues to be a source of inspiration in their work. Marc Trujillo depicts chain stores, shopping malls, gas stations, and other ubiquitous fixtures of American urban and suburban landscapes. A California native, painter Tom Knechtel fills his work with artifice, creating a cast of human and animal characters without fixed identities. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Laurie Lipton lived for many years throughout Europe and found inspiration for her work in the Flemish School of painting. Her graphite drawings combine such disparate influences as Flemish masters, James Ensor, black-and-white photography, and 1950s television.

On September 3, a panel ponders if society is destined to forego public spaces and asks the question Is the Digital Age Killing Public Space? The more time spent in a virtual world, the stronger the craving for human connection. Yet with every technological advance, public space seems to get a little less relevant. Stanford University’s Robert McGinn, technology forecaster Alex Soonjung-Kim Pang, and Christine Rosen, author of the forthcoming book The Extinction of Experience, discuss whether the Internet is going to replace physical public spaces–or if new technology will change how we design and use parks and plazas, town squares and train stations. The panel is moderated by John King, urban design and architecture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. The event is part of “Open Art,” an arts engagement project of Zócalo Public Square and the Getty.

Ensor and the Artists

Date: Thursday, August 7, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center
Admission: Free; reservations strongly recommended. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit to make a reservation.

Is the Digital Age Killing Public Space?

Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Harold M. Williams Auditorium, Getty Center
Admission: Free; reservations strongly ecommended. Call (310) 440-7300 or visit to make a reservation.

Left: Skeleton Painting, 1895 or 1896. James Ensor, Belgian, 1860–1949. Oil on panel. Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp. Image © Lukas-Art in Flanders vzw, photo Hugo Maertens. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SABAM, Brussels EX.2014.2.33
Right: The Umpteenth Anniversary, 2010. Laurie Lipton. Charcoal and pencil on paper. Image Courtesy Laurie Lipton.

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