MC Escher exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston

MC Escher, “Bond of Union”, April 1956, lithograph, from the Michael S. Sachs Collection. Presented in the exhibition “Virtual Realities: The Art of MC Escher from the Michael S. Sachs Collection” at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 2022.

Photo: All works by MC Escher are copyrighted by MC Escher Company BV-Baarn-the Netherlands. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

Once upon a time, posters of MC Escher’s works were as ubiquitous in the dorms as copies of Bob Marley’s “Legend” album. Times are changing and we are abandoning some of the totem poles of youth for other fascinations. Years later, when critical impressions feel less hot, we sometimes rediscover those first points of interest.

Which makes it a particularly intriguing exhibition in the spring: the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston will present in March “Virtual Realities: The Art of MC Escher from the Michael S. Sachs Collection”, with works that represent almost half a century of collector Sachs. ‘acquisitions of Escher’s work. The exhibition will include more than 400 works: prints, drawings, watercolors, illustrations and other objects including the famous sphere of Angels and Demons.

If someone needs a time machine to get back to their youth, this show may be the closest thing available right now. But also “Virtual Realities” tries to save the work of Escher from the kingdom of the pop art poster.

“It defies all categories,” says Gary Tinterow, director of the MFAH. “He was not into modernist -isms, but he was modern. His art is always fascinating and fascinating.

“We grew up with these impossible images that he made, and they are still fascinating. And in the world of digital art, Escher has renewed power.

Born in the Netherlands in 1898, Maurits Cornelis Escher was in the process of becoming an architect, which partly explains the work he was to carry out. He studied at the School of Architecture and Decorative Arts in the 1920s, a period that pushed him from architecture to drawing and printmaking. His later work still reflected his earlier background: Escher played with perspective to create endless hallways and stairwells, images that hinted at a sort of endless repetitive state in which his subjects (essentially us) traveled. up and down, right and left, without making any kind of linear progress.

The MFAH presents the exhibition as “the largest and most comprehensive exhibition” of Escher’s work ever produced. The collection represents much of Escher’s work over the span of his half-century career, assembled by Sachs, who in the 1980s acquired most of the estate from the artist, who died in 1972 .

Escher’s work has proven to be enduring since the artist’s death. The works are seemingly simplistic – woodcuts, lithographs, and drawings that seemed two-dimensional at first glance. But his works exploded with a third dimension, as Escher found ways to create illusions on flat surfaces that exploded outward. He called them “mental images”, which sounds insular. His works convey such personal visions to an admiring audience that has spanned the generations.

The exhibition opens on March 13, 2022 and will run until September 5. Details and passes available on the museum’s website.




  • André Dansby

    Andrew Dansby covers culture and entertainment, both local and national, for the Houston Chronicle. He arrived at The Rolling Stone Chronicle in 2004, where he spent five years writing about music. He had previously spent five years in book publishing, working with publisher George RR Martin on the first two books in the series that would become “Game of Thrones” on television. images you have never seen. He has written for Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, Texas Music, Playboy, and other publications.

    Andrew doesn’t like monkeys, dolphins and the outdoors.


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