Monday, March 2, 2020

M.C. Escher: The Graphic Work by M.C. Escher

After René Magritte, M.C. Escher is probably one of my favorite modern artists. This book is a collection of his graphic work, focusing mainly on tessellations, but also on things like impossible objects, metamorphoses, distortion, and reflection. He's most famous for the Escherian stairs, and also the hands drawing each other into infinity. Escher's work is the kind of art you can just stare at for long periods of time, marveling at the beauty and complexity put into such simple, understated forms. I really love him.

Some of the themes in his art are objects transforming and warping. Checkerboards turning into splotches turning into birds; birds becoming fish; abstract or symbolic becoming realistic; the distorted reflections in glass spheres; physically impossible three dimensional constructs; tessellations where objects alternate and repeat within a pattern; and chiaroscuro. There's a lot of trompe-l'œil, as well. The more you stare at his work, the greater the depth.

I'm not sure what else to say about this book except that I really, really enjoyed it. I've only taken a few classes on art-- drawing of and the history of-- but I like it a lot. I'm not very good at drawing or painting but I admire the people who can. I wish the United States was more appreciative of the arts, as I think it adds a new and valuable perspective on life and the world we live in. Just look at Escher with his beautiful renderings of the tenets of physics and geometry.

5 out of 5 stars

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