Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tessellation and Fantasy

Convex and Convaves - 1953

Intriguing. Painting that shows impossible structures, yet captivates the mind and soul. It has been said that there are people who spent hours in the museum multiple times just to enjoy his creation. And it was said that no matter how many times one sees the artwork, one still wont be able to see them all.

That is the work of the famous Maurits Cornelius Escher, or MC Escher. I only knew about his existence when I was watching Il Mare the other day, and I digged further to know more about him.

In his earlier works, he experimented with tessellation (the regular division of the plane, or tiling), which can be shown in the two paintings below. He toyed around with boundlessness with repeated objects and the result was infinite symetrical geometry. His art was mostly flat or 2 dimensional plane at first (see Horsemen), but he progressively ventured into spherical shapes (see Circle Limit IV) while staying to the infinite geometrical concepts.

Notice the repeated black and white horses facing each other in the opposite direction

Escher potraying tessellation in circular pattern in this masterpiece - Circle Limit IV

Later in his life, he started experimenting with transformation, or metamorphing. He practically changes a group of object into another object gradually through a series of slight changes (see below) For the first artwork, his touch of work has basically transformed a fish into a goose. And the second one sees the transformation from bees into fishes (and birds??). Really a brilliant work from the genius himself. It was during this time that he was involved with mathematicians and I believe that these must have influenced part of his designs.

And evolving from the same theme, he created a new theme called "Image Stories". One of his artwork, Encounter, was based on this idea. This piece was completed in 1944.

Encounter - 1944

"... on a gray wall, these human figures increase their mutual contrast toward the center ... each kind detaches themselves from the wall surface and walks into space ... Thus going round they can't help meeting in the foreground ... the black pessimist keeps his finger raised in a gesture of warning, but the white optimist cheerfully comes to his encounter, and so they finally shake hands." - excerpt from here.

Noticed how the black and white figure (element of tessellation) coming out from the rear wall, and going round, each in opposite direction and eventually uniting at the centre.

The later stage of his life sees his fascination with space and infinity . We eventually sees him developing pieces which depict structures in a seemingly impossible time and space. These structures are impossible to be built in real life, and the examples below will explain why it is so.

Belvedere - 1958

Relativity - 1953

Up and Down

It was said that there is element of loneliness which showed in Convex and Concave as the people were not aware of each other's existence even though they are living in the same place.

As for Relativity, I find a similarity between this art and the movie, Il Mare. The people are unaware of each other presense (just like Convex and Concave). I would say Escher is trying to convey the message that these men exist in the real world, but they living in a different time and another dimension, just like the movie. Therefore, the characters are totally unaware of each other's presence. Hmm.. Made me wonder if this are for real, or fantasy.

Fantasy or not, I still say his works are truly genius and brilliant!!


y(a)ppie said...

when i was in college, i had a homework creating our own 'Escher' art. It was hard, oh-kay!!!

BigBadWolf said...

Yappie. Please upload ur masterpiece and let ppl appreciate your hard work. :)

I for one woould like to see it.

y(a)ppie said...

err... i don't even know where is it already, prolly because it wasn't one of my favourite piece. Sorry...

I remember I was really really frustrated about that assignment (for art history) coz it was so freaking complicated. We were first-year students for goodness' sake!

But what I did was one of those 'morphing' stuff la...

JL said...

definitely work of a genius... bravo!!!

Big Bad Wolf said...

yappie. TOo bad u don keep it with u..How did ur other coursemates fare in this assgn? They felt frustrated as u are? Gosh..

JL. Yeah, i agree with u. But I shall post something on another genius, which i think his creativity surpass any great artist of our life!! Woohoohooohoo.. And he is from malaysia. Watch out for him. :)

JL said...

cepat la deng... buat orang tension je... siape ni? :P

BBW said...

slow slow bang.. be patient. Good thing always comes last. :)

BBW said...

"slow slow bang" sounds kinky.

its suppose to be "slow slow abang"...

Lanza said...

Keep up the good work.

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