Melbourne in summer is the place to come being “hot ” in more ways than one. For those who want to sun and swim, local bays beckon or there are ocean beaches an hour away. For sports fans there’s the Australian Open Tennis, one of the four “grand slams”, held every January and if you like a serving of culture with this, Melbourne has an enviable reputation as Australia’s creative heartbeat of music, art and exhibitions. Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria is the epicenter on the artistic platter.
Geometry was never one of my strongest subjects at school but after the brilliant exhibition at the NGV I may have to revisit my aversion. From tessellations to rhomboids it was nothing short of a wonderful perspective on the illustrious Dutch print artist, Escher with many exhibits of his work on loan from the Dutch Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague.
This cleverly curated exhibition, intersecting the iconic works of Escher with an embodiment of his spatial concepts , geometry and perception, by the fabulous contemporary international design studio, nendo, in its stark black and white 3 dimensional encapsulation called “House” . Hence the title of the Exhibition, Escher x Nendo /Between Two Worlds…..with its major sponsor Mercedes Benz.
Escher and Oki Sato, Nendo’s principal designer and founder share common interests in their love of spatial manipulation, optical illusions and playful visual devices. From reflections, perspective, dimension and scale This presentation from the NGV will draw you into the mind of Escher and illuminated by Nendo .
Escher was captivated by the challenge of representing infinity with tessellation, implying endless repetition on a flat plain and this exhibition presents a wonderful cross-section of his major works. Fish transform into birds, men running down a series of stairs become tumbling, repetitive, abstract figures.
Drawing Hands is one of the artists most ingenious and paradoxical images and encapsulates his principal artistic concerns. The meticulously rendered hands appear to break out of the flat confines of the drawing . Esher’s love of embedded visual games reaches a high point in this work which displays his mastery of optical illusion and playful paradox, his fascination of infinity and close observation on which all his art is based.
I am no geometer but Escher’s use of shape , size, relative position of figures and the properties of space artistically depicted in his block and lithographic prints are not to be missed.
This exhibition is on at the National Gallery of Victoria until April 7th, 2019….don’t miss it !!!!!