Wednesday, May 30, 2007

1940s and 1950s graphic design

M. C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898 – 1972), was a Dutch graphic artist known for his mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints which featured impossible constructions, explorations of infinty, architecture and tessellations.

His artistic expression was created from images in his mind, rather than directly from observations and travels to other countries. Well known examples of his work also include Drawing Hands (1948) a work in which two hands are shown, each drawing the other.

He worked primarily in the media of lithographs and woodcuts, though the few mezzotints he made are considered to be masterpieces of the technique. In his graphic art, he portrayed mathematical relationships among shapes, figures and space. Additionally, he explored interlocking figures using black and white to enhance different dimensions. Integrated into his prints were mirror images of cones, spheres, cubes, rings, and spirals.

Although Escher did not have a mathematical training—his understanding of mathematics was largely visual and intuitive—Escher's work has a strong mathematical component, and more than a few of the worlds which he drew are built around impossible objects such as the Necker cube and the Penrose Triangle. Many of Escher's works employed repeated tilings called tessellations. Escher's artwork is especially well-liked by mathematicians and scientists, who enjoy his use of polyhedra and geometric distortions.

During his lifetime, made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings and over 2000 drawings and sketches. Apart from being a graphic artist, M.C. Escher illustrated books, designed tapestries, postage stamps and murals.

His art continues to amaze and wonder millions of people all over the world. In his work we recognize his keen observation of the world around us and the expressions of his own fantasies. M.C. Escher shows us that reality is wondrous, comprehensible and fascinating.



jo said...

I really like this guys work. I wonder if he could help me with my perspective drawings in Craig's class. The drawing of hands drawing each other has such good tonal shading you'd think it was a photo.

stacy said...

excellent post i like you have investigated the source of his illusion with penrose etc. he travelled the first half of his life drawing many architectural features including islamic domes and the tessalation of tiles that helped him in such works as metamorphosis