Escher is probably one of the first artists most students are introduced to during their art class. I remember when I was introduced to his work during one of my classes and I was suddenly haunted by his ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’.
Escher’s name may mean a little to the wider British audience as he was was never affiliated to any group, rarely travelling far from his modest home in the Dutch town of Baarn, and focusing exclusively on graphic art. He was a one-man art movement who created some of the most famous and popular images in modern art, yet he remains a complete enigma. Escher only had one exhibition in the UK and that was at the National Galleries of Scotland, back in summer. Now his works are being featured in a major exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
The exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery brings together works which made him one of the most famous artists of the 20th Century. The shows includes woodcuts, lithographs, drawings, watercolours and mezzotints, as well as exclusive archive material.
Seeing Eschers work was remarkbly prodigious within the exhibition space. It was a reward to see the originals rather than a printed copy.
His Metamorphosis piece was quite outstanding in size, I remember hearing someone say that it would be nice to have this print as a scarf, luckily enough the Gallery’s gift shop had made it in both silk and cotton materials.
The piece below is one of my favourites. It is the study for ‘Waterfall’ 1961, it was a final study before it was transferred onto a lithographic stone in order to make the print. It shows an apparent paradox where water from the base of a waterfall appears to run downhill along the water path before reaching the top of the waterfall. Personally I quite like the simplicity of the final studies in which Escher created, it’s a joy to see the artist’s development before his final piece was transferred onto lithographic stone – which of course is remarkable.
Finally at the end of the exhibition I managed to re-create Escher’s ‘Hand with Reflecting Sphere’ which was installed quite simply with a large Christmas bauble, and thanks to modern age I managed to do this with the very simple technique of a back camera selfie. It was fun to do as I had time to re-create the piece if it didn’t come out right, if only Escher knew what a selfie was back then!
I also purchased this wonderful diary with Escher’s ‘House of the Stairs’ piece on the cover from the Gallery’s gift shop. The Amazing World of MC Escher is a fascinating exhibition, it definitely gives you an insight into Escher’s inimitable style.
The Amazing World of MC Escher
Dulwich Picture Gallery | 14 Oct 2015 – 17 Jan 2016
For opening hours, ticket prices and further information, please visit www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk