I thought I knew something of M.C. Escher’s work before I went but this gem of an exhibition is, as the title suggests, amazing. I tend to think that most famous artists are long dead before I was born. One of the more unexpected things I discovered in my recent trip to The Dulwich Picture Gallery was that the artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (known as M.C. Escher), was working into the late 60s. Dulwich Picture gallery have curated the first major UK show of his work, bringing together works from across his career. Each and every one requires careful observation to allow the genius and technical skill of this talented draughtsman to be fully appreciated.
Escher initially studied as an architect but changed to graphic arts instead. However the influence of this early training is clear in his reinvented and distorted buildings, such as in the 1953 lithograph, “Relativity” In “Tower of Babel” (1928) his enduring love of extreme perspective is also apparent.
Many of his early works were woodcuts. My favourite was an image of his wife, Jetta. The precision of each cut is exquisite, particularly in the rendition of her hand holding the flower.
Of course when you think of Escher you think of the metamorphosis of shapes or the interlocking tessellations on a student’s bedroom poster. There are many of these images in the exhibition, but seen up close, the sheer mathematical genius of their execution is simply breathtaking. I spent most of my time in the gallery poring over the nearly four metre long “Metamorphosis-ii” which I reckon is worth the entry ticket alone. Go see!
©Chez l’abeille 2015