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“Bond of Union,” 1956, M.C. Escher (1898 – 1972). Lithograph. M.C. Escher images are copyright of The M.C. Escher Co.

FAM Presents Work of M.C. Escher in New Exhibition Opening May 27

COOPERSTOWN—Fenimore Art Museum brings the imaginative design, consummate draftsmanship and dreamy visions of the renowned M.C. Escher to the region with the exhibition, “M.C. Escher: Infinite Variations,” on view May 27 through September 4. This monumental show from the private collection of Paul and Belinda Firos of Athens, Greece spans Escher’s entire career, from his training in Haarlem, his Italian period, to his final years in the Netherlands. Visitors will see nearly every iconic image he produced.

“This exhibition has attracted record crowds in cities across the country and Fenimore is pleased to share it with everyone in Upstate New York throughout the summer,” said Dr. Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Fenimore Art Museum president and chief executive officer. “Escher’s work is complex yet easy to enjoy. Even if you are familiar with him, you will certainly find plenty of new and inspiring work in this impressive collection.”

Initially inspired by nature, Escher’s later works became submerged in what he referred to as “mental imagery,” a host of subjects influenced by Moorish architecture, mathematical equations, alchemy, and the concept of metamorphosis.

It was in 1937 that Escher stepped through what he called the “open gate of mathematics.” He used his imagination and his technical expertise as a graphic artist to invent new visual constructions, challenging conventional perceptions of space, perspective, the “impossible,” and the “infinite.”

By the 1950s, Escher had developed a following among mathematicians and scientists who were intrigued by his tessellations and “impossible buildings.” In the 1960s, his work was embraced as part of the pop-art and psychedelic movements. Escher’s artwork was used, often without his permission, on everything from album covers to dorm room posters. His work has since become a symbolic bridge between science and art.

The exhibition displays some of Escher’s most iconic works, including “Day and Night”and “Ascending and Descending.” Works like “Day and Night,” influenced by Moorish designs in Spain, feature interlocking forms and transformation on a surreal canvas. Visitors will also see the 14-foot-long “Metamorphosis.”

Aside from additional iconic images that made this artist famous, such as “Drawing Hands,” “Waterfall,” “Eye,” and “Relativity,” the collection features numerous seldom-displayed prints including the “Griffin of Borghese,” “Still Life and Street” and the entire set of his mezzotints (eight in total), among numerous other works. The collection also includes one of the earliest, and extremely rare, large format drawings done by the artist.

This exhibition was provided by PAN Art Connections.

“M.C. Escher: Infinite Variations” is sponsored in part by Robert and Esther Black Family Foundation, The Clark Foundation, Nellie and Robert Gipson, Joseph and Carol Mahon, Mr. Tom Morgan and Ms. Erna J. Morgan McReynolds, NYCM Insurance, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas O. Putnam, and Richland County Foundation.


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