M.C. Escher: A mind-bending exhibition

M.C. Escher: A mind-bending exhibition
M.C. Escher: A mind-bending exhibition 01:44

One hundred and twenty years ago this week, artist M.C. Escher was born in the Netherlands.

The son of a civil engineer, Escher was hardly a promising young student, or artist, as he recalled years later in this video from the M.C. Escher Foundation:

"I hated school, but the drawing lessons were always a great relief. Although I wasn't a particularly brilliant pupil at drawing. I wasn't bad, but I certainly wasn't exceptional."

But M.C. Escher's mature work certainly WAS exceptional, and then some. He made 448 lithographs, woodcuts, and wood engravings, along with more than 2,000 drawings and sketches.

"Ascending and Descending," by M.C. Escher (1960). Lithograph. Courtesy of the M.C. Escher Company

Although Escher also did landscapes and portraits, he's BEST known for mind-bending depictions of impossible spaces, a topsy-turvy world where all the usual rules of perspective and proportion no longer apply.

M.C. Escher died in 1972 at age 73.

But his work continues to perplex and fascinate us to this day – with more than 200 examples now on view at Industry City in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Upstairs? Downstairs? In Escherland, there's STILL no way to tell.

Escher: The Exhibition & Experience by Escher The Exhibition & Experience on YouTube


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Story produced by Cai Thomas.