ATHENS.- The Herakleidon Museum
, as of August 22nd 2009, will present the fourth and final phase of the exhibition From Drawing to Masterpiece, highlighting the way M.C. Escher used color in his work. This fourth phase, Escher in Color, will be on display until November 15th 2009.
Color was essential for Escher when exploring the various forms and the layout of his designs, as evidenced by his numerous archives, of which a majority are in color. Essential to his tessellation work are his watercolors, eight of which are displayed in this exhibition.
Many of his woodcuts were also in color, like the Elements series created for the Strens family, although this meant extra work for the artist, since for each color he had to carve an additional woodblock. This exhibition includes most of his colored woodcuts - he never made colored lithographs. The Atrani landscape, although essentially a black and white woodcut, is composed of no fewer than seven woodblocks, each representing a different shade of grey, indicating that variations in color, in this case black, were important for his work. His very last work, the woodcut Snakes, created when Escher was in declining health, beautifully demonstrates his skill in combining colors. Gold, green and black intertwine to create an amazing sense of movement.
This exhibition also includes three color variations of Depth, five color variations of Sun and Moon and three color variations of Horseman, including one printed on silk. Also on display are a very large drawing, Butterflies, which is an amazing exploration of color combinations, and a unique textile printed by the artist himself in red, blue and black, dating to as early as 1929.
No other graphic artist explored color variations in such depth with the sole purpose of understanding their relationship. None of these color print variations, watercolor tessellations or drawings were intended for sale by the artist.