First time in Portugal! 200 works by eclectic and charismatic Dutch artist M. C. Escher. A graphic artist by trade, Escher’s works were used in advertisements and even album covers. Now is unique style if mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints hang in museums. Escher in Lisboa runs through 27 May 2018 at the Museu d Arte Popular.
Escher (1898-1972) found creativity and comfort in producing works featuring subjects and patterns of mathematical precision, as well as impossible objects, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry and perspective. The exhibition is divided into sections, making us different periods of vision over the artist’s career.
I just received some photos from the curator of the exhibition in Italy, where several of my prints were exhibited. Details of the exhibition are below:
FILLING THE VOID Escher and beyond
StadtGalerie Galleriy Civica – Brixen/Bressanone
From January 20th to February 28th 2017
Many know the works of Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, addressing the tessellation of the plane. The image of an insect (a horseman, a bird or a dog …) repeats itself, covering the plane completely without leaving gaps. One can only admire such talent: if we take a closer look, there is even more to discover. These tiles are reducible to regular polygons (triangles, squares, hexagons) or combinations of them. Escher is the most popular, but not the only figurative artist exploring the “regular division of the plane” as scientists would say. Before him, there was Koloman Moser, exponent of the Viennese Art Nouveau, followed by several contemporary artists such as Andrew Crompton, David Hop, Hans Kuiper, Francine Champagne, Alain Nicolas, Robert Fathauer and Sam Brade.
The exhibition “Filling the void – Escher and beyond” taking place at the city gallery of Brixen, presents some of the graphical works of these artists: in total 26 works, most of them prints. An information sheet describing its particular characteristics accompanies every single work. Amongst the works exposed, there are eight tessellations of M.C. Escher and some aperiodic tessellations by Richard Hassell.
All M.C. Escher works and text are copyright of the M.C. Escher company, Baarn, The Netherlands. All rights reserved. M.C. Escher ® is a registered trademark
The images below courtesy of the curator Federico Guidiceandrea, and some available online.
In this tessellation, sharks arise from the deep sea vents and circle menacingly at the surface. The name of the tessellation refers to the Ba Gua, a Chinese religious motif incorporating the eight trigrams of the I Ching, arranged octagonally around a symbol denoting the balance of yin and yang, or around a mirror. In this case it is printed on a reflective silver aluminium panel, so is both mirror and motif.
Cellular Chess I
Cellular Chess I, II and III
These 3 prints are based on 5, 7, 9-fold geometry, and use a similar tile design to create a pattern that makes a flowing checkerboard. Cellular Chess I is based on 7-fold geometry and uses 3 rhombi, Cellular Chess II is based on 9-fold geometry and has 4-rhombi, while Cellular Chess III uses the 5-fold geometry of the Penrose Tiles. It would be interesting to see what kind of chess game could be played on such a complex board. The gold version of the print has a circle of gold in each alternate cell.
In each case I used a substitution technique to generate the patch of tiles, then selected a portion of the tiling that has a regular outline, but is quite irregular on the inside, without rotational symmetry. For the set of prints, I looked for a shape that would give me cells of approximately the same size, and then find a regular shape of similar sizes for the overall design.
What is interesting, is that each tile-set has its own “gestalt” despite having the same basic pattern. The 5-fold is quite axial and feel stiffer, while the 9-fold is much more flowing.
On a recent trip to the deep south of Western Australia, I came across the most beautiful ripples in the soft powdery sand, and they struck me with their similarity to these patterns.
Cellular Chess III based on five-fold geometry
Cellular Chess II based on nine-fold geometry
This work will be installed in the ArtScience Museum in Singapore in the M.C.Escher exhibition opening on 24th September 2016.
This work is about exponential scale. Each of the 9 fishes, on closer examination, is made from 841 smaller fish, with a total of 7,569 fish in the work. Furthermore, the arrangement of the 9 fish can be found within the small fish on the larger panels. So a third even larger scale of fish is implied..the 9 fish could be a small portion of a much larger fish 39 metres wide – and would be made from 707,281 small fish. And that fish might be part of a larger fish 1km across containing 600 million small fish.
This work is suitable for planetary scaled public art!
Total artwork size 434 cm wide by 387 cm high (each fish 165 cm wide by 1150 high) (approx 14.2 ft x 12.6 ft)
Detail of artwork:
Detail of Fish Scales III
Fish Scales III Detail
Tortoises and Lizard migrate across their world from right to left. The two creatures have different modes of migration, the tortoises branch out as they wander and fan out across the top of their world, forming many paths, while the lizards branch in to a single path along the base.