Escher and nendo: Between Two Worlds, the world premiere mind bending exhibition at NGV International sure to make people gasp in wonder, is showcasing ‘reflective mirrored surfaces, shrinking corridors that play with perspective, digital projections and design elements that create three-dimensional and immersive optical illusions’. It is now open until April 7, 2019
Billed as the National Gallery of Victoria‘s most ambitious exhibition to date, the amazing display showcases bizarre optical and conceptual works by 20th century Dutch born graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972).
They are viewed in a brilliant dialogue with the designs from the 21st century acclaimed award winning Japanese studio nendo, which is keenly led by designer and founder Oki Sato, who was on hand for the opening of the exhibition.
Escher and nendo: Between Two Worlds will “… provide audiences with a unique opportunity to explore how art can be perceived and experienced differently through the lens of design ” said NGV Director Tony Ellwood AM.
An extensive event program and tours are integral to the exhibition. View all event Programs. Also, there is a brilliant Teacher and Student Summer School. Download NGV Student and Teacher Education Program Escher x nendo
Maurits Cornelis Escher challenged his viewers established notions around space, time and the everyday world, with works that explored the furthermost reaches of his imagination.
They especially appealed to those professionally engaged in the world of mathematics, including imposing their influence on puzzles and games to great effect, as well as those studying and practicing in the world of cognitive psychology.
“So let us then try to climb the mountain, not by stepping on what is below us, but to pull us up at what is above us, for my part at the stars; amen” *
The exhibition will feature more than 150 of Maurits Escher’s most renowned prints and drawings from the renowned collection of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, The Netherlands.
By manipulating space, and building on Escher’s use of shifting perspective and playful visual devices, nendo has devised a signature motif for the exhibition design.
It is the ‘… minimalist form of a house – universally understood as an icon and symbol of space’ says Oki Sato.
‘… the aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance’ said ancient Greek philosopher and scientist Aristotle (384-322). It is a language in images, a method by which we communicate ideas, express conceptions about self, our society, culture and community. In this instance c1956, the artist is expressing a Bond of Union.
Escher and nendo: Between Two Worlds explores this one creative giant’s unique artistic vision 1916 – 1969, by showcasing some of his most beloved works.
Escher’s world was indeed a topsy-turvy one.
He became known for his detailed realistic prints, which the wider public responded to enthusiastically.
He was however in the main, as indeed were many artists before him, very much ignored by the art world during their lifetime.
After completing his studies at the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts at Haarlem, in the Netherlands, Escher spent many years travelling and sketching throughout Europe, using ‘multiple conflicting perspectives’ to represent what it was he wanted to say, visually.
His so-called mature style began to emerge when he was 37 years of age (1935) as he gradually developed his own very demanding techniques, which helped him to unlock the secrets of both his mind and imagination. They also allowed him to present works of outstanding technical achievement, with enormous attention to detail.
His work Day and night, 1938, is a woodcut representing light breaking over a Dutch landscape of exactly mirrored towns, fields and waterways.
Other favourites include Up and down, 1947, Drawing hands, 1948, Dragon 1952, Relativity, 1953, Waterfall, 1961 and his final work Snakes, 1969
He left a legacy of some 450 lithographs, woodcuts, wood engraving and, about 2,000 drawings and sketches, which were widely appreciated and continually reproduced throughout the twentieth century. Today acknowledged as a master of optical illusion, Escher created some of the most iconic images of the twentieth century, which continue to intrigue viewers world wide.
“We adore chaos because we love to produce order”. In recent years, he has become greatly admired by designers from all aspects of the profession, as being a technical and inventive genius.
His ‘… impossible architectural structures, endless staircases and seamless transformations of form and pattern’ were all about bringing order from chaos.
Oki Sato commented
“Escher’s logical, math-based ideas and interests have inspired nendo’s work process and served as a base for the creation of this exhibition design and new collection of works. The different installations vary in scale and in spatial impact, enabling the visitor to experience Escher’s world in a very physical way. It’s as if they are walking inside Escher’s mind, but seeing the exhibition through their own eyes,” said Oki Sato.
This is another great show for the whole family to see and experience.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2018
2 December 2018 – 7 April 2019
180 St Kilda Road,