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Ensor with an asterisk

October 19, 2008|Suzanne Muchnic

The TITLE "Holy Sh*t" may seem shocking for a lecture at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. But the follow-up phrase, "Scatology and Longing in the Art of James Ensor," explains what Kevin Salatino, LACMA's curator of prints and drawings, has in mind. In his talk -- 7 p.m. Thursday at the Bing Theater -- Salatino will use his scholarly wit to dissect the Belgian artist's most outrageous images, including "Doctrinal Nourishment." The etching from 1889 to 1895, a recent LACMA acquisition, pictures a lineup of autocratic rulers hanging their bare bottoms over the top of a wall and emptying their bowels on the crowd below. Social criticism doesn't get much more graphic (or relevant) than that.

-- Suzanne Muchnic

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