James Ensor, Les masques et la mort / Die Masken und der Tod, 1898, © Kunst Museum Winterthur, Stiftung Oskar Reinhart

Two of the great masters of modern art meet in this exhibition in the Reinhart am Stadtgarten building: James Ensor (1860 – 1949) and Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973).

The two artists are juxtaposed under the leitmotif of the masquerade. The mask as object and symbol, the disguise as a game with identity and staging are central questions of artistic creation for Ensor and Picasso.

While Picasso came to Cubism through his study of African masks as cult objects, Ensor is considered the painter of masks par excellence. Early on, the mask appeared as a source of inspiration to both of them and left its mark on their respective works.

These artistic appropriations are complemented by the interest of jugglers and actors: the spectacle of the circus with Picasso, the ritual of carnival with Ensor. Based on drawings and prints and selected paintings and sculptures, a dialogue between the two artists emerges.