© Nendo / Photography: Takumi Ota

Dutch artist Maurits Escher, better known as M.C. Escher (1898-1972), created mathematically-inspired artwork which only gained global recognition when he was well in his 70s. As such, the artist’s creative output initially became well-known and appreciated among scientists and mathematicians, and only later also in popular culture, especially after it was featured by Martin Gardner in his April 1966 Mathematical Games column in Scientific American. His early life was spent in his beloved Italy, but his family eventually left for neighbouring Switzerland in 1935 due to the rise of fascism, and subsequently relocated to Belgium and his native Netherlands.

This marked a shift in focus for the artist, from the external world to his inner, imaginary world. From this point he used his refined skills to explore the mysterious and paradoxical nature of space, time and human perception. His tessellations, optical illusions, impossible inventions and representations of infinity are at once serious and playful, and continue to inspire audiences of all ages. Currently on at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne is an exhibition dedicated to Escher’s work, and it’s presented in settings inspired by his works. As the show is aptly entitled Escher x Nendo – Between Two Worlds, the scenography is designed by acclaimed Japanese design practice Nendo.

The show adopts the outline of the house as the main image, echoing the images of birds, fish and insects that very often appear in Escher’s prints. The scale and materials of these houses evolve along the trajectory of the tour, resulting in a different viewing experience than traditional galleries. Also presented at the showcase is a series called of House for Escher, comprising of works by Nendo, and derived from the exhibition itself: 11 works of art composed of black and white metal ‘huts’ – originally designed for research and experimentation during the design stage (on through Apr 7). Location: NGV International, 180 St. Kilda Road (Southbank).















© Nendo / Photography: Takumi Ota