M.C. Escher Basics

Reflecting Sphere. M.C. Escher. 1935 lithograph print

    M.C. Escher was a dutch graphic artist from 1919 -1972. He initially started in decorative arts due to his carpentry skills. It is here that he discovered how to make woodcuts. Following this Escher traveled to Spain and was inspired by the geometric interworkings of the tiles in Alhambra. More specifically he was attracted to the geometric symetries of the Moorish style.

Still Life and Street. M.C. Escher 1937 print

    After returning to Italy, he was unsatisfied with engaging in works about the social climate. He was more inspired by the nature and the landscapes. This passion shows up in his later works. In 1935 Escher began transitioning into art that played with form and reality. He also began creating prints that play with psychcological ideas about perception and form. Moving away from exploring the geometric symmetries and towards the creation of intertwining realities, Escher first created Still Life and Street in 1937. This is one of the more simplistic realties that Escher created. As you can see above the table of the still life becomes the street of the town. These images he created relied heavily on his exploration and acknowledgment of Gestalt's principles of figure-ground. Escher would apply these theories of psychologies to his artwork. Sometimes even bringing to life experiments that were run.


Stars. M.C. Escher. 1948 print

    Alongside his interest in psychology, Escher has work that demonstrates his interest in mathematics, more specifically the division of the plane, hyperbolic cubes, and crystallography. He used these to propel a new body of work towards the end of his career. Stars demonstrates his exploration of new hyperbolic geometric forms. A practice also exhibited in some of his earlier works like Reptiles. He continued on until his death in 1972.

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