Tuesday 11 August 2015

ESCHER 1898-1972 at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, EDINBURGH 
 Escher was a pop star artist. In the 1960s & 70s the public clamoured for his work. Mick Jagger wanted him for an LP cover. His woodcuts - printed by hand with a small egg spoon made of bone - sold in hundreds. America loved him, as did teenagers worldwide. 

Like Darboven, he led an orderly life. Equally obsessive, he tried for an order underlaying the chaos of everyday but allied to a sense of humour & playful approach. 

"I cannot help mocking all our certainties. It is, for eg, great fun deliberately to confuse 2 and 3 dimensions, the plane & space, or to poke fun at gravity. 

Are u sure that a floor cannot also be a ceiling? Are u certain that you go up when u walk up a staircase? Can u be definite that it's impossible to have your cake & eat it?  I ask these crazy questions of myself, and then other."
Escher loved to amaze. His images deal with time or eternity; infinity and space. The main subject is WONDER. 

His fabulous technical ability has to be seen in the flesh. Reproductions on posters or T shirts are no good. I believe this is the first Escher show in Scotland, it is certainly the largest ever held in the UK - 100 drawings & prints which demonstrate just why mathematicians admired him for his grasp of geometry & hippies for his 'psychedelic' art. 
If u only see one Festival show, see this. Take yr time, examine. Escher trained as an architect and this shows. His early buildings, castles, pavilions & staircases, cities & streets are immaculate in their definition - even if mirror images upside down or downside up. He moved to Italy from his native Holland in 1920s. 
This is printmaking as you will never see it again! Masterpieces of graphic design made from 20 blocks where birds metamorphose into fish; cubes become houses; towers make for chess pieces and each blends seamlessly into the other.

Clare Henry

No comments:

Post a Comment