Strange Creatures in Lisbon 01

My print Aquatic Amphibians is on display in Lisbon Portugal at the Museu d’Arte Popular.

More information here: 

Escher in Lisbon, through 27 May 2018

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.

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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.

Thanks to Francine Champagne, a fellow exhibitor, for a correction to this post, you can see her work here:



The exhibition Strange Creatures setup is nearing completion. There are a total of 25 works on paper, and 7 works on aluminium. The main space has all the works on paper in it, while the aluminium works are around the perimeter.

I will post some pictures of the Escher room later today.

We are also having a resource library, with books on Escher and WOHA and a draft of the upcoming Strange Creatures book, which we will launch at the closing of the exhibition on December 3rd.





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Circulation II, Dibond Print on Aluminium panel 

The aggressive carnivorous reptiles in this tessellation are based on Roger Penrose’s “Jigsaw Puzzle” tiles. The reptiles form closed circles, facing alternately inwards and outwards.. It seems impossible to hold all the circles in view at once, instead by shifting attention, one can see clearly only the olive, ochre or green circles at any one time.

 Doris Schattschneider, in her book Visions of Symmetry, describes Penrose sending his Jigsaw Puzzle tiles to Escher as a wooden puzzle as a challenge for him to solve. Escher was successful, and eventually produced “Ghosts” his last symmetry drawing in 1971 based on the tiles. It is probably one of Escher’s least exciting tessellations and shows the challenge in the restrictive edge matching rules inherent in complex tilings. The tiling is anisohedral, with only a single edge profile used, although in mirrored form.

The reptiles are identical in shape, but appear in mirror image. In each tile the edge profile occurs in mirrored orientation too. The tiles use a single edge profile for all parts of both lizards, hence the rolled up tail, which in nature is possessed by chameleons, presumably the docile ancestors of these strange, aggressive beasts.

Tessellation artwork

Detail of Circulation II



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talk-2Thanks to the ArtScience Museum for a fascinating afternoon on Saturday 24th September. It was intriguing for me to hear such divergent views of Escher from the speakers. Presenters were Federico Giudiceandrea , Curator of ‘Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder’, Dr Sai Kit Yeung, Assistant Professor of Vision, Graphics and Computational Design (VGD) Group in SUTD, Angela Liong, co-founder and Artistic Director of ARTS FISSION,   Maria Kozhevnikov, Associate Professor of Psychology at NUS, and I was very pleased to be included too!

I  found Maria’s presentation very enlightening. It showed how different people use one of two different visual processing systems in the brain, and the data she presented was fascinating, and to me, aligns very closely with the differing status afforded Escher by the world of fine arts, and the world of science. And as architects were one of the few professions that use both systems, explained why I enjoy Escher so much, and enjoy making tessellations.

The afternoon was expertly moderated by Honor Harger.

Angela will be presenting a dance inspired by Escher this Thursday 29th September.


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