Monday, July 16, 2018

Artist of the day, July 16: M.C. Escher, Dutch graphic artist

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 – 1972) was a Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically-inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints.

His work features mathematical objects and operations including impossible objects, explorations of infinity, reflection, symmetry, perspective, truncated and stellated polyhedra, hyperbolic geometry, and tessellations. Although Escher believed he had no mathematical ability, he interacted with the mathematicians George Pólya, Roger Penrose, Harold Coxeter and crystallographer Friedrich Haag, and conducted his own research into tessellation.

Early in his career, he drew inspiration from nature, making studies of insects, landscapes, and plants such as lichens, all of which he used as details in his artworks. He traveled in Italy and Spain, sketching buildings, townscapes, architecture and the tilings of the Alhambra and the Mezquita of Cordoba, and became steadily more interested in their mathematical structure.

Escher's art became well known among scientists and mathematicians, and in popular culture, especially after it was featured by Martin Gardner in his April 1966 Mathematical Games column in Scientific American. Apart from being used in a variety of technical papers, his work has appeared on the covers of many books and albums. He was one of the major inspirations of Douglas Hofstadter's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach.

Despite wide popular interest, Escher was for long somewhat neglected in the art world; even in his native Netherlands, he was 70 before a retrospective exhibition was held. In the twenty-first century, he became more widely appreciated, with exhibitions across the world.

Mr M.C. Escher

M.C. Escher at work

1969, Snakes

1965, Knots

1963, Möbius Strip II

1961 Waterfall

1960, Circle Limit IV

1960, Ascending and descending

1960, Ascending and descending

1958, Belvedere

1957, Regular division of the plane VI

1957, Regular Division of the Plane III

1957, Plane Filling II

1956, Swans

1956, Print Gallery

1956, Bond of union detail

1956, Bond of union

1955, Three Worlds

1955, Rind

1955, Depth

1955 Convex and concave


1953, Trees and Animals

1953, Relativity detail

1953, Concentric rings

1953 Spirals

1952, Puddle

1952, Gravitation

1952, Cubic Space Division

1950, Rippled Surface

1950, Order and chaos

1949 Double Planetoid

1948, Twelve Birds

1948, Stars

1948, Drawing Hands

1947, Other World

1946, Three Spheres II

1946, Mummified Frog

1946, Magic Mirror

1946, Horseman

1946, Eye

1946 Gallery

1945, Three Spheres

1945, Doric Columns

1945, Balcony

1944, Encounter

1943, Reptiles

1938, Sky and Water

1938, Day And Night

1938, Cycle

1936, Moorish Tessellations

1935, Inside St Peter's

1935, Hell

1935, Hand with Reflecting Sphere

1935, Hand with Reflecting Sphere detail

1932. San Michele dei Frisone, Rome

1930, Fiumara (of Stilo), Calabria

1929, The Drowned Cathedral

1927, Procession in Crypt

1922. Self-Portrait. Woodcut

1919, White cat

1919, White cat, woodcut

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