Patrick Florizoone and Willem Coppejans wrote the online publication James Ensor between avant-garde and tradition for the James Ensor Online Museum. The authors thoroughly analyse the obscure oil painting Confrontation (La critique sur mon oeuvre). The painting was signed by the artist, but not dated and belongs to a private collection. Confrontation holds a special place within Ensor's oeuvre due to an exceptional and complex strategy of images. In place of one-sided complacency, Ensor depicts a detailed, worked-out confrontation in which he shows his never-ceasing efforts for recognition. This painting is an illustration of Ensor's manipulative capacities. He is convinced of it and feels himself compelled as well to show that he is the forerunner of many modern ‘isms'. By depicting early works he repositions himself in the history of art, he prolongs his place of honour and tolerates no doubts. This is how and why he feeds his myth.
(News item August 16, 2016)