Areas

Area 7. Perspectives and Architectures

As from 1950, Escher dedicated himself to manipulating space and perspective, experimenting with gravity and the construction of impossible spaces and architectures. The ambiguity of these scenarios in which different worlds converge simultaneously and cyclically, constitute a subjective framework of highly thought-provoking work, the product of the artist’s imagination.

Escher’s attraction towards strange and impossible spaces, with vanishing points that are distorted and only apprehensible in the imagination, is likely to have stemmed from his initial architecture studies and particularly the engravings by Piranesi, the vedute, with which he became acquainted on his travels to Rome in his youth. On setting eyes on lithographs such as Relativity (1953) or Convex and Concave (1955), it is impossible not to bring to mind the Carcieri (prisons) of the Venetian artist, from which Escher would learn the continuous and infinite spatial relationship and the cyclical perspective with no beginning or end. These spatial fantasies are conceptual constructs, which uphold the Einsteinian discourse on the relationship between space and time.

Escher’s architectural constructions are neither functional nor obey specific designs, but rather they concern places in which the relationship between space, time and infinite movement are inextricably interlinked. They are not architectural constructions in the sense we are familiar with, but rather games, investigations that distort our reality by means of discontinuities that end with the scale of the object. The Coxeter stairway that does not lead anywhere and the impossible continuities between floors and ceilings are highly evocative distractions from reality for the viewer, which also afford architectural, scientific and artistic connotations. The use of non-Euclidean geometry together with the exploration of the subconscious could allow us to achieve a new vision of the artist’s subjective realism.

The works we see in this section are surprising and make us question the possibility or impossibility of what we are seeing.

INFINITE UNIVERSES

After his visits to Spain and once he settled in the Netherlands, Escher looses interest in depicting nature, locked in an imaginary world where he can create subjective scenes. During his contemplation about the existence of a real objective space, he came to the conclusion that subjective spaces only exist in each one of us. These ideas lead him to create imaginary, fictitious, unreal worlds that were made possible thanks to his perfect command of visual logic. Impossible worlds and approximations to infinity based on optical illusions.

Escher’s architectural constructions are neither functional nor obey specific designs, but rather they concern places in which the relationship between space, time and infinite movement are inextricably interlinked. They are not architectural constructions in the sense we are familiar with, but rather games, investigations that distort our reality by means of discontinuities that end with the scale of the object. The Coxeter stairway that does not lead anywhere and the impossible continuities between floors and ceilings are highly evocative distractions from reality for the viewer, which also afford architectural, scientific and artistic connotations.

Works

  • Tower of Babel
    Tower of Babel
  • Inside St. Peter’s
    Inside St. Peter’s
  • Gallery
    Gallery
  • New year’s greeting card. Exlibris Kring
    New year’s greeting card. Exlibris Kring
  • Synthesis
    Synthesis
  • Other world
    Other world
  • Up and Down
    Up and Down
  • Relativity
    Relativity
  • Convex and concave
    Convex and concave
  • Print gallery
    Print gallery
  • Belvedere
    Belvedere
  • Ascending and descending
    Ascending and descending
  • Waterfall
    Waterfall