The Dutch printmaker M.C. Escher is one of the few twentieth-century artists who became almost universally known by the general public from the 1960s on. Constructed as visual paradoxes with impossible architectures, vaulting perspectives, and dramatic metamorphoses of form, his images startled. Once seen, they stamped themselves indelibly on the memory. I’ll hazard a guess that most of us can recall the amazement of first seeing an Escher image: perhaps Other world (1947), a wood engraving of a pigeon perched beneath a colonnaded arch, seen from three divergent perspectives simultaneously; or the lithograph Drawing hands (1948), where a pair of convincingly rendered three-dimensional hands seemingly sprout from a page, each one drawing the shirt cuff of the other; or Day and night (1938), a flock of geese flying evenly in diametric directions over a Dutch landscape, half of them silhouetted against daylight while the other half transmute into white, set against a nocturnal view of the same scene.
Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds (National Gallery of Victoria)
Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month. We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen. If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Sophie Knezic is a Lecturer in Critical and Theoretical Studies at the Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne.
By this contributor
Leave a comment
Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.
NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to email@example.com. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.