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.
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.
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.
Thanks to the ArtScience Museum for a fascinating afternoonon 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.
The exhibition at the Marina Bay ArtScience Museum opens on Saturday 24th September.
Fish Scales III is the last exhibit before the gift shop.
The exhibition is really good, with a series of very interesting rooms organised by theme, and in a surprising series of pastel colours derived from the prints and watercolours, which actually work very well with the predominantly stark black and white prints.
Fish Scales III Detail
Bigger and Smaller (which is much smaller!) is next to it:
Coming from a family of bad pun makers, this idea was irresistible; it combines a word game with a visual game. A Pen (a medieval quill in this case) and a Rose tile to make an enormous bouquet of Penrose Tiles. The perimeter of the tiling is a continuous linked row of pens, perhaps the tessellation is drawing itself, like Escher’s famous Drawing Hands.
While roses don’t present such a tessellating challenge as creatures with arms and legs, they do nicely bunch together, like florist’s roses wrapped in cellophane. And the entire print layout is quite rose-like too, with 5 large petals of tiling opening up.
Pen-Rose print detail
Here in Singapore Hoya plants grow in the trees, a tropical relative of the humble milkweed. They form balls of closely packed pentagonal flowers, here is one from my garden, it has some close similarities to the tessellation: