I’ve always been a huge fan of Dutch graphic artist M.C (Maurits Cornelis) Escher’s work. So, when I heard that the ArtScience Museum was organizing an exhibition in collaboration with M.C Escher Foundation and Arthemisia Group, I knew I was in for a mind-boggling treat.
Held from 24 September 2016 to 26 Feb 2017 – Journey to Infinity: Escher’s World of Wonder aims to celebrate the collaboration of art and science through the enigmatic sketches and paradoxical designs through one of the greatest artist of the 20th century.
Do check out the exhibition as there are over 150 of Escher’s original works that have been produced in his career journey spanning over 70 years.
For those who are hearing about him for the first time. M.C Escher was born on 17 June 1898 in a province of Leeuwarden, Friesland in Netherlands.
He was the youngest son of a civil engineer George Arnold Escher and his second wife, Sara Gleichman.
Growing up, Escher excelled at drawing and was asked by his parents to pursue architecture. He did badly at a number of subjects and subsequently switched to studying decorative arts.
Now that you know who is M.C Escher, here are seven things you can look forward to at the exhibition. Thank goodness you don’t have to crack your head on what to do while you’re there.
The exhibition takes you on a journey through Escher’s life and explores the principles behind many of his artworks, which have been influenced by his travels and the people that he met.
Take your time in exploring the six galleries which include:
“Early Work: Art Nouveau and Nature” is dedicated to Escher’s early works (1921 – 1935) that primarily features nature, insects and flowers.
“Tessellation” showcases Escher’s fascination with Tessellation after visiting famous architectural landmarks in Southern Spain, especially Moorish architecture from 14th century Alhambra.
“Metamorphosis” takes visitors into the playful and imaginative world of impossible realities where tessellations of abstract shapes transition into concrete forms – such as birds gradually transforming into fishes.
“Commercial works” features 21 of Escher’s commercial projects which he was commissioned to do as a result of his growing fame.
“Exploring Infinity” is a result of Escher’s interactions with scientists in the 1950s which inspired him to begin his research on impossible constructions, optical illusions and representations of the infinity.
“Escher Mania” is a celebration of Escher’s influence on other artists, designers, singers and film directors.
One of Escher’s largest artworks, Metamorphosis 2 (1940) is a woodcut piece in green, black and brown is printed from 20 blocks on three combined sheets. Watch and behold as simple lines morph into actual concrete buildings before fading back again into lines.
One of Escher’s famous artworks, Relativity (1953) – a lithograph featureing impossible stairs and multiple visual and gravitational perspectives with people apparently going about their daily tasks at home.
Located in the “Exploring Infinity” zone, step into The Mirror Room where full walls and ceiling mirrors give the appearance of infinity. A totally trippy room that you should definitely check out!
Ever wanted to step into the mind of M.C Escher? This is probably your best bet. Amaze yourself with this large scale grid that makes for a fun interactive experience. The temptation to complete the puzzle is real, so be quick to try your hands at it.
Visitors can learn and apply the four principles of tessellation — translation, reflection, rotation and glide reflection through a large scale interactive tessellation grid.
This room takes the phrase “larger than life” to a whole new level with a room designed with proportions to create a distorted optical illusion of size. If you ever want to appear taller in photos, this might be your only chance!
What…a hands-on station where we can create our own Kaleidocycle? Yes please! Pick up a 2-D cut-out sheet, complete the activity while making use of this time to rest your legs from all the walking.
We struggled with it at first, so take it easy and it follow the instructions carefully. Up the ante by challenging your friends to see who can complete it quicker.
Finally, we succeeded! Now whip out your smartphones and record a Boomerang of it which makes for a trippy video that is definitely Instagram worthy.
If Escher’s works have converted you into a fan of his, you can bring home a copy of some of his famous artworks for your own appreciation.
We also picked up some books that will bring the love back into reading. If you haven’t gotten your fair share of optical illusions during the exhibition, feel free to purchase some to bring home with you to explore in your free time.
So if you’re up for an afternoon of mind boggling illusions and mystifying paintings, this is definitely the exhibition for you.
You might just leave the exhibition feeling as if your eyes were playing tricks on you. Or did they?
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