Escher was a Dutch artist known especially for his engravings that depict images based on symmetry and which explore the infinite, mathematical paradoxes and impossible perspectives. From October 13, 2017 to January 28, 2018, Palazzo Blu in Pisa will host an exhibition of all the hypnotic, surprising and astonishing masterpieces by the great artist, with the contribution of some curious exhibition schemes designed by the architect Cesare Mari, as well as interesting technology and multimedia arrangements. The young Escher studied in Delft and Haarlem, historic cities of art in the Netherlands: his teacher was a Sephardic Jewish engraver, Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, who later met a tragic fate in Auschwitz. On his advice, Escher began to study mathematical-rational art in the Jewish and Islamic tradition, comparing them with avant-garde movements in Europe. Italy had a relevant place in Escher’s life: the artist lived in Rome from 1923 to 1935 with his wife, who he married in Viareggio in 1924. His children were born in Italy and he would recall his years here as the best of his life. Escher travelled to Italy in search of inspiration, attracted by the small villages in Calabria and Sicily, but left Italy for Switzerland because he did not support Fascism. In the 1940s, he moved to Belgium and then returned to the Netherlands, where he began the most prolific period of his career, when he abandoned the representation of reality to instead concentrate on the interior landscape. With symmetries, geometrical paradoxes and impossible architecture that provoke endless movement, mathematics and calculus are key components for understanding Escher’s art. The exhibition Escher at Palazzo Blu comprises nine sections: Faces, Animals, Objects and Reflections, Geometries and Rhythms, Landscapes, The Artist, Imaginary Architecture, Nature and Self-Portraits. Together with an extraordinary selection of over 100 works by Escher, visitors will find some works from past centuries, in large part coming from Pisa: marble fragments with Cosmatesque decorations, wooden intarsias depicting geometric solids and engravings by G.B. Piranesi, with his imaginary buildings and evocative perspectives. The exhibition is an opportunity to retrace the stages of the artist’s creativity, focusing particularly on his long and decisive stays in Italy, amidst nature’s scenery and the artistic memories that profoundly influenced his style.
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