M. C. Escher: Reality and Illusion

November 13, 2016–January 29, 2017 in the Grand Gallery

Photo of M. C. Escher

The most iconic works by Dutch artist M.C. Escher, including a pair of hands drawing themselves and fish morphing into birds, are familiar to most people. The exhibition of over 100 woodcuts, lithographs, and drawings takes us deeper into both the literal and impossible worlds he created over a career that spanned five decades.

Drawn from the world’s second-largest private collection of Escher’s work, Reality and Illusion includes early figure drawings, lesser-known book illustrations, detailed Italian landscapes, the “tessellations” for which he became famous, and several examples of his signature architectural fantasies in which stairways seem to circle back upon themselves or go nowhere.

Escher Programming

GUIDED EXHIBITION TOURS (included in MAG admission)
Sundays and Fridays, Nov. 18–Jan. 29, 1 pm

Thursday, January 26 | 7-10 pm
College students are free with a current college ID. Great opportunity to catch M.C. Escher before it leaves Rochester.

MAG’s Creative Workshop will offer a series of classes exploring Escher’s work. These include sessions of Family Sketch Hunters Club for ages 5 and up with adult (November 19 & January 14) and OK, It’s Fabulous Art Project Time, for ages 7–10 (Saturday, January 21); Escher-themed beginning drawing classes; an Art Social (November 17), Drawing for Illustration (six-week evening class starting January 19); and Appreciating Printmaking (three-week midday art history class starting January 11).
For information, visit mag.rochester.edu/creativeworkshop or call 585-276-8959.

Previous Escher Programming

doris schattschneider
Mathematics and the Art of M.C. Escher
Sunday, November 20 at 1 pm
Download the postcard (.pdf) (853KB)
Download the poster (.pdf) (1MB)
Read Tantalized by Tessellations in Rochester Review by By Lindsey Valich

The imagery in M.C. Escher’s graphic works not only makes obvious use of geometry, but often provides visual metaphors for abstract mathematical concepts. This lecture will examine mathematical concepts implicit in several of Escher’s works, outline the transformation geometry that governs his interlocking figures, and reveal how this “math anxious” artist actually did pioneering mathematical research in order to accomplish his artistic goals. Doris Schattschneider holds a Ph. D. in mathematics from Yale University and is Professor Emerita of Mathematics at Moravian College, where she taught for 34 years. Her dual interest in geometry and art led naturally to the study of tiling problems and the work of the Dutch artist M.C. Escher. She authored M.C. Escher: Visions of Symmetry.

Free with paid admission [This presentation is one of three lectures in the G. Milton Wing Lecture series, funded by a bequest from the late applied mathematician and UR alumnus, G. Milton Wing. This lecture is sponsored by the University of Rochester’s Department of Mathematics and the Memorial Art Gallery. The next in the series can be viewed here.]

Wednesday, November 16, 4:30–7 pm; $15*
Explore M. C. Escher: Reality and Illusion through the eyes of artists and mathematicians. Experiment with the “finger exercises,” as Escher called his early realistic landscapes, and the “brain gymnastics” of his later more complex works. Math consultant Marcy DeJesus-Rueff and art teacher Julie Flisnik will share their ideas and lessons providing guidelines for touring the exhibit or developing classroom activities. (For Art, Math, Classroom: K-12.)
*Registration and prepayment required; contact Chelsea Anderson at cander35@mag.rochester.edu or 585.276.8971.

From the collection of the Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece
One Source Traveling Exhibition organized by PAN Art Connections, Inc.
In Rochester, M.C. Escher: Reality and Illusion is sponsored by the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery, with additional support provided by Roger and Carolyn Friedlander, Dr. Dawn F. Lipson, Andy and Karen Gallina, the John D. Green Endowment for Contemporary Exhibitions, the Robert Lehman Foundation, the Rubens Family Foundation, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Fund, Ron and Cathy Paprocki, Jim Moore and two anonymous donors.
Read the press release