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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fundação Eugénio de Almeida: “A Magia de M.C. Escher”

Born in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) on June 17, 1898, Maurits Cornelis Escher, nicknamed "Mauk", was the youngest son of civil engineer George Arnold Escher and his second wife, Sara Gleichman.

Escher attented primary and secondary school in the city of Arnhem until 1918 and in 1919 he went to the Haarlem School of Architecture and Decorative Arts, where he studied until 1922 under Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, gaining experience in drawing and woodcuts.

Due to his health condition, his grades since early age were generally poor, although he excelled at drawing.
In the year of 1922, Escher traveled to Italy and Spain and in the same year he completed his first artistic work, featuring eight human heads divided in different planes. Later around 1924, after returning to Italy, he met Jetta Umiker, whom he married and had a son called Giorgio Arnaldo Escher, named after his grandfather.

After losing interest in "regular division" of planes, he turned to sketching landscapes in Italy with irregular perspectives that are impossible in natural form.

Landscape, nature and even some insect studies completed during his early years, would be used on later works, such as Waterfall and Puddle (a woodcut where the trees are the same that he used on Pineta of Calvi completed in 1932)

The artist moved to Switzerland in 1931, drawing 62 of the total of 137 Regular Division Drawings he would complete in his lifetime. Two years later he travels to Belgium where in 1937 makes his first print of an impossible reality entitled Still Life and Street.

Finally moves to The Netherlands in 1941, where he lived until 1970 in the city of Baarn, where he completed most of his famous works and wrote his first paper, now publicly recognized, called Regular Division of the Plane with Asymmetric Congruent Polygons.

Escher moved to the Rosa Spier house in Laren in 1970, a retirement home for artists where he had his own studio. He died at home on the 27th of March 1972, at age 73.

During his lifetime, M. C. Escher made 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings, over 2000 drawings and sketches, as well as illustrating books and designing murals, tapestries and postage stamps.

Among his famous works are: Ascending and Descending; Drawing Hands; Relativity; Sky and Water

Like some of his famous predecessors, - Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer and Holbein-, M.C. Escher was left-handed.

Now for the first time in Portugal and after showing the works of Francis Bacon, the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida (Eugénio de Almeida Foundation) in Évora, presents the exibition "A Magia de M. C. Escher" (The Magic of M.C. Escher)

Inaugurated on October 8, 2010 and running until January 30, 2011 (daily between 9h30 and 19h00) at the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida, the exhibition is consisted of near 50 original paintings, including Tower of Babel; Day and Night; Drawing Hands and Relativity.

"A Magia de M. C. Escher" exhibition is curated by Willem Veldhuysen and possible thanks to the loan made by the M.C. Escher Foundation (established by M.C. Escher himself in 1968)

On November 19 (18h00), there will be a conference at the Fórum Eugénio de Almeida with the title "M.C. Escher: Matemático sem o saber" (M. C. Escher: Mathematician without knowing it), presented by Professor Nuno Crato. Admission will be 5 Euro.

With another exhibition of a major artist, the Fundação Eugénio de Almeida continues to give its contribute to make Portugal a cultural destination.

For more information you can contact the Foundation through the following contacts:

Tel: (+351) 266 748 300

Fax: (+351) 266 705 149

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