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26 June 2013 / leggypeggy

All eyes on Escher—and Niemeyer too


The vertical image is a reflection from the horizontal surface

Imagine two greats in the world of art and architecture under one roof!

That’s exactly what’s on show at the Museu Oscar Niemeyer in Curitiba, Brazil.

It all starts with the museum/gallery itself. This magnificent eye-shaped building was designed by Niemeyer, who also designed Brasilia, the nation’s purpose-built capital. He completed the project when he was 95 years old.

Escher exhibit, Curitibia

The crowd admires an enlarged image

This year, the museum/gallery is hosting a huge exhibit of works by MC Escher.

Escher, who was born in the Netherlands, is one of the world’s most famous graphic artists. He is best known for his woodcuts, lithographs and mezzotints, as well as his fascination for creating impossible structures that explored infinity, architecture and tessellations.

His work was heavily influenced by the art and architecture of Italy and Spain where he first travelled in 1929.

The experience was life-changing. He was impressed by the Italian countryside and captured the landscape in many of his artworks.

Twelve birds, Escher

Twelve birds, 1948, a tessellated image

Alhambra, the 14th century Moorish castle in Granada, Spain also inspired him. The intricate decorative designs at Alhambra, which are based on mathematical formulas and feature interlocking repetitive patterns sculpted into the walls and ceilings, were a powerful influence. In fact, he was so taken by Alhambra that he copied almost all the tile designs there.

In his lifetime, Escher made almost 450 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings, and more than 2000 drawings and sketches.

The exhibit in Curitiba shows a good cross section of his work, and I could have shared 10–15 more photos here, but I showed a little restraint.

As we went through I couldn’t help but think how much both Escher and Niemeyer would approve of this collaboration.

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Leave a Comment
  1. Joanne T Ferguson (@mickeydownunder) / Jun 26 2013 10:39 am

    HOW awesome that all the greats were under one roof…you and Poor John included too 🙂
    Love seeing the world vicariously through your post and eyes! 🙂 Cheers! Joanne


    • leggypeggy / Jun 26 2013 10:49 am

      Thanks Joanne. It’s a truly wonderful exhibit.


  2. Michael / Jul 7 2013 5:57 am

    His work was heavily influenced by the art and architecture of Italy and Spain where he first travelled in 1992.

    Ms LP, your friend Escher died in 1972 so he visited Italy and Spain while in the afterlife. Let me guess, He has a ghost painter….LOL


    • leggypeggy / Jul 7 2013 8:41 am

      Hi Michael — thanks for the quality control! Off to change it to 1929. Seriously, I’m not dyslexic. 🙂


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