Hands drawing themselves. An infinite stairway. Those may be the most well known pieces by the Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) whose work is currently on display in the Max-Ernst-Museum in Brühl.
At the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts, Escher first studied architecture before switching to decorative arts. There he met Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita who greatly influenced and encouraged him to pursue art. Escher began his artistic career by studying animals and nature, especially the landscapes of Italy and Spain. There, his fascination with intricate decorative designs took root.
Escher was intrigued by geometrical symmetries, interlocking repetitive patterns and the art of tessellation. Despite his low grades in school, Escher was fascinated by mathematical problems. His studies, supported by his brother Berend, led to his own artistic development of mathematical expressions of symmetry.
The exhibition at the Max-Ernst-Museum allows visitors to journey through Escher’s artistic creations. From his early work, sketches and prints, to his last woodcut Snakes, Escher’s art is beautifully displayed. An introductory video recounts Escher’s life and artistic career. Additional information is given to each piece of art (in German and English). After the exhibition itself, you can play video games that have been influenced by Escher’s art and wander through 3-dimensional worlds not unlike those that Escher created in his graphics.
It’s an exhibition that speaks to everyone – young and old. It really shouldn’t be missed. If you are in the area (Cologne/Bonn), I highly recommend you take the time to visit the Max-Ernst-Museum.
The M. C. Escher Exhibition is open until 22. May 2016 (Website, German only).
All images from mcescher.com.