Thursday, May 28, 2009

Discover: Maurits Cornelis Escher - Artist / Mathematician

Reptiles by M.C. Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher often referred simply as M.C. Escher was a Dutch artist born in 1898. You may recognize the Drawing Hands piece but he is known for his mathematically-inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations.

Concave and Convex by M.C. Escher

Escher's interest in symmetry and polygons led to his unique style characterized by a mathematical approach to art. It is definitely an unorthodox way of tackling art, but as you can see from his work it is rather intriguing. His "math-art" can often be conceptually and artistically simple like the Fish below, but often got more complex and detailed in works like Concave and Convex (shown above).

Fish by M.C. Escher

In a way Escher is more a mathematician and a philosopher than an artist. He just happened to express his ideas with art instead of text. Take a look at Escher's Wikipedia entry to learn more about his life and how his art directly reflects mathematical theories and concepts.

Drawing Hands by M.C. Escher

- Sonic

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