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Mind-bending Escher exhibition at the Currier Museum of Art reveals impossible realities
M.C. Escher, Drawing Hands, 1948, lithograph © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company- The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com.


MANCHESTER, NH.- M.C. Escher’s imagery has appeared in museums worldwide and also on the walls of countless college dorm rooms since the 1960s. His work has been lovingly embraced by popular culture icons The Simpsons, and appears on neckties and in LEGO® re-creations. This fall, you will have the opportunity to see the original works created by one of the best-known draftsmen of the 20th century in M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion, September 20, 2014 through January 5, 2015 at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, N.H. The Currier’s Escher retrospective is one of the largest and most comprehensive ever offered in the United States.

M.C. Escher (1898-1972) is best known for intricate geometric drawings and prints of spaces that can only exist on paper and in the viewer’s mind. His familiar images continue to boggle the eye and the brain, captivating viewers more than 40 years after his death. In Escher’s world, stairways are built upside-down, water runs uphill and every object is reproduced with mathematical precision. This exclusive New England presentation will contain not only his best-known works of art, but also rarely-exhibited early drawings of family members, panoramic drawings of exotic landscapes and historic architecture, original preparatory sketches and mezzotints, and one of the lithographic stones he used to print a later work. “Escher’s work is appealing on so many levels,” said Kurt Sundstrom, exhibition curator. “The images are realistic but visually challenging, accessible but elusive, and entertaining but serious. That’s why his work appeals as much to the general public as it does to art scholars and mathematicians.”

M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion includes more than 180 original Escher prints and drawings from throughout his career. The works of art are presented chronologically across three gallery spaces. The first gallery features Escher’s earliest, and perhaps least known, works in a section called Landscapes and Cityscapes. The second gallery showcases Escher’s explorations into tessellation, infinity and depth, and includes his enormous woodcut Metamorphosis (1939-40), which spans 13 1/2 feet in length. The final gallery reveals Escher’s Impossible Worlds, including two of his most popular and recognizable works, Waterfall (1961) and Relativity (1953).

The exhibition features several interactive learning opportunities for the whole family. Visitors can explore how tessellations work, or create perspective-bending, Escher- inspired self-portraits.

Born in Leeuwarden, Holland, Maurits Cornelis Escher was the youngest of five brothers. He loved the arts from an early age and made his first linocuts (designs cut into slabs of linoleum) at the age of 18. Three years later, he made his first woodcuts and by 1922 he provided woodcut illustrations for a friend’s book.

From the early 1920s through 1936, Escher travelled throughout southern Europe drawing landscapes, but his two visits to the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain in 1922 and 1936 proved transformative. The abstract interlocking decorative patterns on the floors and walls in the palace captivated Escher. He decided to exploit that idea, but instead incorporate recognizable human and animal forms in his tessellations.

When he and his family returned to Holland in 1941, his art was much more inspired by ideas in his mind such as: mirror images, multiple dimensions, infinity and impossible constructions. Although he was never trained in science and mathematics, the works of mathematician George Polya and books about crystallography fascinated Escher. He applied these studies to draw worlds of astounding symmetry and complexity. “It is…a pleasure knowingly to mix up two- and three-dimensionalities…to make fun of gravity,” said Escher. “Are you really sure that a floor can’t also be a ceiling? Are you definitely convinced that you will be on a higher plane when you walk up a staircase?"

Escher was heavily influenced by the work of Oscar Reutersvärd, a Swedish artist whose impossible figures were equally mind-bending. However, while Reutersvärd’s subjects were pure shapes, Escher pushed the boundaries further with his inhabited worlds. Drawings such as Relativity (1953), Waterfall (1961) and Ascending and Descending (1960) were clearly inspired by Reutersvärd.






Today's News

September 20, 2014

Exhibition in Jerusalem presents the oldest known manuscript of Jewish prayers

Major, rare exhibition opens at the Bruce Museum, displayed in multiple galleries

Extraordinary exhibition of works from the Museo Reina Sofia opens in Florence

British Museum exhibition explores a pivotal 50 year period that transformed China

Brussels chocolate museum, featuring a Willy Wonka-style factory, opens to sweeten senses

Madison Square Park Conservancy's Mad. Sq.Art. presents sculpture exhibition by Tony Cragg

New Works: Paintings by Carole Bayer Sager on view at William Turner Gallery

Rarely loaned Victorian sculptures come to Yale Center for British Art for major exhibition

Mind-bending Escher exhibition at the Currier Museum of Art reveals impossible realities

'What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present' opens at the RISD Museum

'Sigmund Freud and the Play on the Burden of Representation' opens at the 21er Haus

Robin Rhode's debut exhibition in Hong Kong on view at Lehmann Maupin

Improbable Possibilities: Solo show of British-Iraqi artist Athier opens at Ayyam Gallery London

Exhibition of photographs by Brazilian photographer Valdir Cruz opens at Throckmorton Fine Art

'How Far How Near - The World' opens at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam

Baltimore Museum of Art outpost brings the museum to the neighborhood

Video installation by art collective Soda_Jerk on view at the National Museum for Women in the Arts

abc art berlin contemporary opens with 111 participating galleries and 115 individual positions

Amsterdam Drawing 2014: An art fair focused on artworks on paper

Gallery 223 opens an exhibition of new work by artist Tom Leamon

First large-scale solo exhibition in Paris by Camille Henrot opens at Bétonsalon: Center for art and research

New York Public Library appoints Carrie Welch as Chief External Relations Officer

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