The Life and Works of Escher – Miranda Fellows

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The Life and Works of Escher.

Addressing one of Escher’s prints is akin to entering a foreign landscape, governed by a set of surreal, spatial dimensions. We are unwittingly absorbed into worlds which are turned upside down and inside out, steps which run upwards and also run down, internal rooms become external walls. Escher’s work also begs the question, does art imitate life, or life art? How can we tell, when his reptiles can get up and walk away from on which they are drawn?

Through an informed selection of prints, taken from all periods of the artist’s life, Escher gives us a thorough insight into the creations of one of the 20th century’s most dispassionate yet enigmatic artists.

Escher was an unusual artist, driven by a desire to solve problems which may seem more relevant to the mathematician than the printmaker: a desire to expand the artistic limitations of the flat surface upon which he worked. Artist have been creating the illusion of depth on a flat surface (be it on paper, canvas or board), since Giotto first demonstrated the practice of foreshortening in the 14th century. But the Renaissance principles which developed as a result did not go far enough for this ‘alchemist’. These principles were closely linked to the position of the horizon line and, even though they embraced vertical perspective, it was kept in its simple form. Escher was interested in examining the potential of vertical perspectives, creating greater depth and multiple viewpoints within one image, sometimes producing more than one vanishing point in a picture. He wanted to prove that the two-dimensional surface was capable of greater illusions of depth than had previously shown.

About the Author.

Miranda Fellows is a writer and editor who specializes in fine and practical art. She was educated at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, and, soon after, spent three years editing The Artist’s and Illustrator’s Magazine. She has also been involved with the organization of a number of public exhibitions and has written various books, including one on landscape painting, and others on the practice of pastel art.


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