Tag Archives: M. C. Escher

Unreal Reality?

Florida has two big features going for it – sun and warmth. Interesting landscape, not so much, at least not in southwest Florida. One needs to find amusement elsewhere. After sampling a Cuban bakery and a Salvadoran restaurant, and with no luck finding any open beaches thanks to Hurricane Ian, I searched out exhibits to take in. I found the Naples Art Institute had a show of M. C. Escher’s work called Reality and Illusion so off we went.

Escher was a Dutch printmaker (woodcuts, lithographs, mezzotints) who became wildly popular among the college age set in the 1960s and 1970s for his meticulous logically impossible prints and his tesselated transformations. Copies adorned many a dorm room.

The exhibit had plenty of these, but I was most interested in his early work. Though born and educated in Holland, Escher spent much of the 1920s and 1930s in Italy, and then moved to Switzerland after Mussolini rose to power. In the early 1940s he returned to the Netherlands. Here a few works he made while in Italy. (the colored specks on the images are from the reflected lights.)

Cloister of Monreale, Sicily, 1933, wood engraving

Coast of Amalfi, 1931, woodcut from six blocks
Still Life and Street, 1937, woodcut
1950, no idea as to title
Three Worlds, 1955, lithograph
Detail of Puddle, 1952, woodcut from three blocks
Dewdrop, 1948, mezzotint

Escher seemed fond of cold blooded creatures. I confess his flatworms creep me out so I took no photos of them. Many of the exhibit’s captions stress his craftsmanship and his delight in mathematics, especially geometry. I was intrigued to get a fuller picture of an artist I knew mostly from those dorm posters. I know I appreciate his techniques more now than I did at 18.

I’m linking to Off The Wall Friday.


Filed under Commentary, Exhibits