The Amazing World of M. C. Escher
埃舍尔的奇幻世界


14 October 2015 – 17 January 2016
Dulwich Picture Gallery

Dulwich Picture Gallery brings to London ‘The Amazing World of M. C. Escher’ the first major UK retrospective of original work by the great Dutch graphic artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898–1972) offering a rare opportunity to rediscover a giant of twentieth-century art and master of illusion and paradox.

Escher created some of the most popular images in modern art despite operating quietly at the fringes of the art world. His name instantly conjures up images of hands drawing hands, impossible staircases and distorted self-portraits in mirrored spheres. He succeeded in transforming his observations of reality into fascinating worlds, seducing and enchanting the viewer with drawings and lithographs that, over the years, have become part of our visual language – adorning teenagers’ bedrooms and appearing on famous LP covers. Often classed as a graphic illustrator this mesmerising exhibition of original drawings, iconic and lesser known prints, lithographs, woodcuts and archive material will highlight his supreme skill as a master draughtsman and unparalleled technical ability.

Escher’s world is one of playful imagination and the unexpected, executed with mathematic precision to create impossible, timeless realities that would inspire amazement in the viewer. He often communicated with – and absorbed much from – academics, most notably the British-born mathematicians H.S.M. Coxeter (1907-2003) and Sir Roger Penrose (b. 1931).

Throughout the decades Escher’s work has become truly ubiquitous, pervading popular culture in a way few other artists have achieved. His images have appeared on album covers (Mott The Hoople), his concepts in films both classic (Labyrinth) and contemporary (Inception), and countless homages to the artist have surfaced on television (The Simpsons, Family Guy) and most recently in the gaming app Monument Valley. However, the artist was not always happy about his images being used. He famously turned down a plea from Mick Jagger to design a Rolling Stones album cover.

Patrick Elliott, the Gallery’s Senior Curator, said:

“There are two qualities one needs to become a great artist: imagination and technique, and Escher had both in spades. There aren’t many artists whose work makes your jaw drop, but he’s one of them. The odd thing isn’t that we are showing Escher’s work, it’s that few people thought of showing him before”.

位於南倫敦的達利奇美術館(Dulwich Gallery)於今年秋天帶來了荷蘭平面設計藝術家莫裏茲·柯奈利斯·埃舍爾(Maurits Cornelis Escher,簡稱為M.C. Escher,1899-1972)的大型回顧展,此展覽展出了藝術家的一百多件作品,其中包括大量版畫、創意初始階段的畫稿和具有非凡創造力的素描手稿。

作為20世紀視覺幻象藝術的大師,埃舍爾創造了現代藝術中最受歡迎的視覺圖像,盡管在藝術界裏並沒被納入到主流。埃舍爾最熟為人知的作品包括現實中不可能出現的無限循環的樓梯,還有鏡像球面裡扭曲的自畫像。埃舍爾成功地把觀察到的現實世界轉化為奇妙的幻想世界,讓觀者一直沈醉在他創造的幻象世界裏。他獨特的視覺語言更滲入到流行文化中,被廣泛運用到各大唱片封面裏,如英國華麗搖滾樂隊Mott The Hoople;不僅如此,無論是經典老電影《魔幻迷宮(Labyrinth)》還是近年大熱的《盜夢空間(Inception)》都把埃舍爾的概念貫穿到電影裏。連著名的電視連續劇《辛普森一家》和風靡一時的手機解謎遊戲《紀念碑谷(Monument Valley)》也向埃舍爾大師致敬。

埃舍爾創造的奇幻世界裏好玩的視覺圖像和無限循環都是通過精確的數學計算而獲得,他經常與著名數學家H.S.M.考克斯特(H.S.M. Coxeter)和羅傑·彭羅斯爵士(Sir Roger Penrose)一起交流“非歐幾何”等數學問題,從中大受啟發,並將“非歐空間”活靈活現地呈現在大眾面前。

達利奇美術館資深策展人帕特裏克·艾略特(Patrick Elliott)說:“成為偉大的藝術家有兩個條件:豐富的想像力和嫻熟的技術,無疑埃舍爾同時擁有。不是所有藝術家都能讓觀者驚訝得下巴都掉下來的,但埃舍爾就是少數中的一位。奇怪的不是我們展示埃舍爾的作品,而是從前幾乎沒有人想到要展示他的作品。”