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M.C Escher Exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Back in June I was in Edinburgh and my favourite thing to do when I'm there is visit all the small galleries. However at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art M.C. Escher's work was on display so I had to go along and see his work.

The exhibition housed some of his most famous works. Over 100 prints and drawings which span across his whole career all presented for the general public to appreciate. The one thing I will say about this exhibition is how much impact the work had. I did not expect their to be so much to look at. I only say this because of the sheer amount of detail in some of Escher's work. I can imaging the pieces took a long time to create. This is one of the major things I admire about the artist, his attention to detail and how he engages the viewer.


This is one of my favourite pieces from the exhibition. The soft, grainy texture of the print is shown throughout the complex composition. How he has combined the different angles within the subject matter is challenging the viewer to look at every aspect of the composition. This is probably one of my favourite pieces because I have a real fascination with artists who contain elements of their composition within shapes, like Escher has done with the sphere.

Within in my own practice I currently do this with mark making, contained within shapes where the ideas behind the work is creating a sense of confinement but I aim for this to come across as calming.

However with this piece I think the work has captured a sense of reality vs. fantasy. This piece is a self portrait where the use of reflections continues to play on this idea.  The artist's fascination with spherical mirrors can be seen throughout his career. Other themes which the mirrors represent within the artist's include the idea of truth and reality and the conscious and unconscious world.

A lot of Escher's work are prints which has been created using the Lithograph printing method. I think this is what gives the work a drawn, grainy soft quality that was recurrent with a lot of his work in the exhibition. In the final room though there were some wood cuts which had a more graphic quality to them and with the introduction of colour, showed a very different side to the artists work.


This piece appealed to me because of the sense of rhythm the work had. The repetition draws the viewer in with the illusion of movement and vibrant colour. 

The overall exhibition had been curated well, however I would say it was a shame you could not take pictures as I would loved to have documented the exhibition for my blog. However when I went the show was thriving and their were lots of people engaging with the different works on display which was great to see. I would say that Escher is an artist whose work a lot of people would recognise but they might not know the artists name. However it is exhibitions like this which allow people to appreciate such beautiful work and learn more about the artist as an individual.

This exhibition is currently on display at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh until September. If you get the chance to see it before it finishes I highly recommend it!

More info can be found at: https://www.nationalgalleries.org/whatson/on-now-coming-soon/the-amazing-world-of-m-c-Escher/


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