Wood Cuts, Lithographs, and Illusions
Of course, I’m writing about M.C. Escher and the absolutely stunning extensive exhibit at MFA Houston.
I think I spent three hours there—most viewers were more interested in the optical illusions and tesselations-the fish becoming birds and so forth.
A few interesting facts—-he was terrible at math and failed his math exams–probably much to the disappointment of his engineer father. He became interested in tesselations with the gift of a book from his half brother who was a professor of crystallography in Leiden. He made over 450 woodcuts and lithographs—and over 2000 drawings.
This was his cabinet for his tools.
the first galleries included wood-cut prints—on ‘wove’ paper—that is paper with a very smooth finish as opposed to ‘laid’ paper that contains ribs.
He was incredibly meticulous—he drew with chalk on black paper using a flashlight at times to see his drawing and then transferred the drawing to a wood block that night. His pen and ink or graphite drawings were incredibly detailed; and all of those wonderful prints were done in graphite first.
It was such an incredible display of his work. This woodcut of his future wife was my favorite.