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What the art world gets wrong about M.C. Escher

Sonia del Re makes the case for seeing Maurits Cornelis Escher from a new angle.
M.C. Escher's "Hand with Reflecting Sphere" © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. (Photo © NGC)

Dutch artist M.C. Escher is best known for mind-bending works that depict imaginary and impossible worlds in meticulous, architectural detail — from stairways to nowhere to hands that appear to draw themselves. But skilled as he was, Escher wasn't always taken seriously by the art critics and institutions.

Today, National Gallery of Canada curator Sonia del Re makes the case for seeing the artist from a new angle. Del Re joins guest host Piya Chattopadhyay to discuss the collection and why Escher's art still resonates today.

M.C. Escher, Relativity, July 1953, lithograph on cream laid japan paper, 39.3 x 40.3 cm; image: 27.9 x 28.9 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1990, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher's "Relativity" © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. (Photo © NGC)
M.C. Escher, The Drowned Cathedral, January 1929, woodcut on laid japan paper, 79.2 x 48.3 cm; image: 72 x 41.6 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1985, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher's "The Drowned Cathedral" © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com, Photo © NGC.
M.C. Escher, Castrovalva, Abruzzi, February 1930, lithograph on beige wove paper, 61 x 48.6 cm; image: 53.1 x 42.3 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1986, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher's "Castrovalva, Abruzzi" © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. Photo © NGC.
M.C. Escher, Sky and Water I, June 1938, woodcut on laid japan paper, 48.9 x 50 cm; image: 43.8 x 43.8 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, M.C. Escher's "Sky and Water I" © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. (Photo © NGC.)
M.C. Escher's "Hand with Reflecting Sphere" © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. (Photo © NGC)

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