Scholarly article on topic '“An Analysis for the Works of Escher and their Use in Art Education”'

“An Analysis for the Works of Escher and their Use in Art Education” Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Gülseren İldeş

Abstract In the Basic Art Education course which is a starter course in Fine Art Education;’object-subject’ analysis from nature, dot, line, colour, surface, form (shape) and elements of space are taught in terms of their contents. The aim of this is to analyse objects in a visual perception and then to create compositions via abstraction which is made real from the nature. Mauritz Cornelis Escher, who was a 20th century Dutch painter, graphic and authentic printing artist, took the advantage of mathematics to create a world which he wanted to establish in his works. He transformed his works by analysing objects and figures. In his works titled “Metamorphosis” which means the transformation in the nature, he transformed continuously deformed images into each other without interrupting the system in the plane. Escher created contrast effects with lines and white-black areas he used. While he was working on his figures, he composed regular divisions on the surface without any space between them by creating abstractions in one or more patterns. He treated paradox (contradiction) and infinity as the basic subject in his works and created cyclic paradox. Each work of the artist is shown up as a pattern pointing the basic art elements such as dot, line, surface, form, space. In this study, the use of aforesaid elements in Basic Art Education and their relations with the work through the samples from works of Escher.

Academic research paper on topic "“An Analysis for the Works of Escher and their Use in Art Education”"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 141 (2014) 1196 - 1202

WCLTA 2013

"An Analysis For The Works Of Escher And Their Use In Art

Education"

Gulseren tlde§*

University of Sakarya, Faculty of Fine Arts, Painting Department

Abstract

In the Basic Art Education course which is a starter course in Fine Art Education; 'object-subject' analysis from nature, dot, line, colour, surface, form (shape) and elements of space are taught in terms of their contents. The aim of this is to analyse objects in a visual perception and then to create compositions via abstraction which is made real from the nature. Mauritz Cornelis Escher, who was a 20th century Dutch painter, graphic and authentic printing artist, took the advantage of mathematics to create a world which he wanted to establish in his works. He transformed his works by analysing objects and figures. In his works titled "Metamorphosis" which means the transformation in the nature, he transformed continuously deformed images into each other without interrupting the system in the plane. Escher created contrast effects with lines and white-black areas he used. While he was working on his figures, he composed regular divisions on the surface without any space between them by creating abstractions in one or more patterns. He treated paradox (contradiction) and infinity as the basic subject in his works and created cyclic paradox. Each work of the artist is shown up as a pattern pointing the basic art elements such as dot, line, surface, form, space. In this study, the use of aforesaid elements in Basic Art Education and their relations with the work through the samples from works of Escher.

© 2014 Publishedby ElsevierLtd.Thisis anopen access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of WCLTA 2013. Keywords: Art Education, Works of Escher, line, dot, surface, form, abstraction, metamorphosis, paradox;

In the Basic Art Education, the student considers nature, living area, objects and art works as resources and tries to interpret them in a systematic way which consists of observation, analysis and synthesis. The objectification process is started thought the pattern works. The students invert their creative abilities into research and applications by using elements such as dots, lines, colors, surface, stain-form and space. First step of this application in the basic Art Education is to have analysis of objects from nature and to create abstraction.

Theoretical courses, which examine Basic Art Education, pattern training and art concepts via

* Corresponding author: Gülseren llde§ E-mail address: gildes@sakarya.edu.tr

1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Selection and peer-review under responsibility of the Organizing Committee of WCLTA 2013. doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.205

inquisitive techniques with different techniques and materials, feed the student and let the authentic artistic approach come out. Basic Art Education, which starts with dot, line, stain-form, surface, space color, structure studies and continues with tangible object analysis, puts emphasis on an important process. In this educational process, firstly object from nature are drawn within the framework of mimesis and description by using light and shadow elements. And then the objects are abstracted. In the abstraction process, characteristic of the objects are determined and the abstraction process continues from complicated to the plain. Mauritz Cornelis Escher is the name that the students should know in this important process. Escher who tried to shake the tradition is a researcher and a modern painter, graphic authentic printing artist.

Mauritz Cornelis Escher who was born in 1898 in Leeuwarden studied architecture and decoration after his secondary school education upon the request of his father. However, thanks to the advice of his graphic teacher, he turned towards graphic education and focused on woodblock painting, lithography, mezzotint techniques. Without a shadow of doubt, his education had an impact on the creation of his own style. Nearly each work of Escher points out basic art elements such as point, line, surface, form, space, structure and appears as educational, pragmatic and extraordinary examples.

Spring and summer journeys of the artist to Italy and Spain between the years 1922 and 1937 and his drawing everything which attracted him during this journeys and using these drawings in his printings developed his art. "The most important thing in the enrichment of the Escher's style is the long time he spent in Italy especially in Rome and his observations on classical art. Apart from this, he developed this art with his own ideas and distributed his works in an original, authentic platform."1 (Arkitect Architecture, Issue: 452, p. 60)

Escher, "was inspired by the Alhambra Palace and La Mezquita Mosque in Cordoba which he saw during his journey to Spain in 1936. Along with the characters based on Tessellation (the tile like collection which were gathered together without any space between the tiles or putting them on one another) (Keser,N. Art Dictionary, p.335,Ankara; Utopya Publishing) the idea of the appearances of given roles on the mosaics became one of the essential parts of his subjects." (Keser,N., Artist Modern Magazine , Issue:111, p.40)

Uniform classification of the plane in the mosaics of Escher (tessellation) was fairly enhanced by the compilation of shapes which were totally surrounded by the plane without any space or putting them on one another. For this reason, he made so many copied works from Alhambra Palace (Figure 1) and then started to design his works which were directed to use identified figures instead of abstract geometric shapes. He drew sketches which were put side by side, or were sided or inverted without letting any space between them but repeating them. When his brother Brend saw the sketches of Escher called "Periodic space-filling of a plane with human figures " (Figure 2), he leaded Escher to mathematics so that the works of Escher are full of strong mathematical elements and connotations. The understanding of mathematics of the artist is based on his instincts, fantasy and geometry. Escher who felt himself more close to the mathematicians than the artists started his search for symmetry and order which would last throughout his life. In the following years, he studied on planar symmetry and performed works by inspiring from this mathematical concept.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Surface division in the works of Escher appears as the richest inspiration source. This subject which is presented in the basic art education under the name of ground and form relation situated on the parallel of the works of Escher. "He aims to fill the surface of the painting by repeating the geometric schemas and in a specific order of the figures in a similar way without any space between them by creating symmetry. However instead of the abstract figures in Islam, works of Escher are full of tangible, recognizable, natural objects (birds, fish, lizards or people). In a way this group which is an example of his works on symmetry, continuity and infinity concepts is a fiction of abstract structures." ( Odekan,A., Qevre mimarlik ve gorsel sanatlar dergisi (Environment Architecture and Visual Art Magazine), p.94)

Another basic art subject, "Space", differs in the works of Escher. "It was one of the main objects of Escher to obtain an aspect of space or a structure to create strong contrasts in the space." Odekan,A.,a.g.e., s.94).

In his spaces, he emphasized on problematic issues with different contrasts of the lines. He laid stress on the problem of different contrasts via lines in the space. In the spaces where the printing comes out, it is understood he used so many interesting elements in indoor and outdoor works in which he used light, shadow, perspective, contrast of white and black (as line and tone). Especially the space formations which are impossible in the normal life are highly successful. In this space works, normal perspective and disrupted perspective create a contrast. "It was the aim of the artist to create open - closed spaces in his paintings. This attitude is to fully show how to enrich architectural possibilities with light and shadow besides the architectural appearance." (Arkitekt Magazine, Issue: 452, p.64)Escher used perspective drawing variety in unusual fantastic space searches and different aspects in his work titled "Other World" (Figure 3) and wanted to take the viewer to another dimensions.

As in the space, he worked on contrast search and use, strong contrast between white and black, big-small relation in figures, contrast effect of day and night with the contrast tone between white and black. In his work called "Night and Day" (Figure 4), rectangular grey fields expand to upward and become white and black birds. Black birds fly to left and white ones fly to the right. On the left side of the drawing, white birds gather and create a day landscape. On the right side, black birds melt down and blend in with the darkness of the night. Day and night scenes are mirror-images and the things which bring them together are the grey fields which are the sources of the birds.

Figure 3 Figure 4

Escher who wanted to create different contrasts in his works used two dimensional motive figures together with three dimensional forms in a single composition. This is a highly important, basic subject in art education. Three dimensional figures and step by step their abstraction and their becoming two dimensional motives are the basic teachings of art education. For the very reason, Escher's work is highly important and serves as models.

Life of an alligator can be seen in "Reptiles" (Figure 5), a work of Escher, which accounts for this subject. Escher who analyzed the motives of the alligator drew the alligator both in three dimensions and two dimensions and by this way created contrast and an extraordinary composition. In this work, a drawing book is left open in the middle of many other things and three reptile figures in different colors which can be seen on the page are drawn in two dimensions and appear as a designed mosaic.

Figure 5 Figure 6

As it is understood, one of the alligators gets bored and embarks on an adventure by putting his foot out of the page and gaining a three-dimension view. It climbs up the back of a zoology book and reaches a high place by walking on the square. Then it walks to the ashtray and goes down to the sketch book of Escher and again undertakes its duty as being a part of division in the plane. In here, we can talk about a endless cycle; continuous, floating, transforming two-dimensional and three dimensional figurers and cycle of Escher.

The artist created contrast effect thanks to black-white areas and line in the works in which he used similar techniques. While he was working on his figures, he created uniform divisions on the surface without any space by using abstraction of one or more motives.

"The base of the presentation based on the illusion of the artist is gained from the copies of the mosaics. This situation created a reverse effect by pushing the viewer singular perceptions in the plenary perceptions as a characteristic of the artist. For example, a totally visual illusion is created by putting the fish side by side. After we look at the drawing for a long while, we can perceive fish but it is not understood at the first sight." (Arkitekt dergisi,S.452,s.67)(Figure 6 )

Again, a complicated pattern which consists of small, black and white men on the grey surface of the wall develops in another drawing called "Encounter" (Figure 7). By thinking that every man who wants to live need a place to keep his feet on the ground, a ground is designed for these men, however a hole is left in the middle of the ground to let the back wall to be seen. Thus, small men have to walk on a circle and they meet on the foreground. The white optimistic and the black pessimist shake hands.

In the work of the artist called "Metamorphose" (Figure 8) which means transformation in the nature and which is a long series consisting of changeable shapes, continuously deformed shapes are inverted into each other. In this series, the relationship between surface and figure is emphasized and impossible journey throughout the dimensions are portrayed.

Shapes which are continuously deformed without disturbing the uniformity on the plane are transformed into one another In "Metamorphoses" which means transformation in the nature. Night changes into day and fish changes into birds. Pattern in the squares transforms into hexagons and becomes the core of honeycombs and a bee larva appears in every comb. Well grown larva transform into grown up bees and fly to the space. However, this does not last long and their shadows gather and create a background for the fish. The next one is the transformation of the white fish into black birds and white birds and the transformation of black birds into white cubes and the cubes into houses.

The most striking works of Escher are the drawings in which he emphasized on paradox and eternity. The world which he established by using impossible figures bring us to the contradiction. In the hierarchical systems which he established to create circular paradoxes even though you move either to the upside or the down side, you are still in the starting point in spite of the hierarchy. For example, in the work titled "Drawing Hands" there is a circular paradox. In this work, there is an eternal circular in the drawing hands. Left hand draws the right one and vice versa. It should be the production of different awareness which consists of the drawer of the drawing. "Works of Escher do not contain endless eternity but an eternity with end namely endless circulars." (Mustafa Arslantunali,Uflu bucakli Sonsuzluk, p.91)

We can give one more example to those endless circulars. The work titled "Waterfall" (Figure 10) you can watch the waterfall and follow its movement and in the end the point where you reach is the starting point, because eternity plus one equals to the eternity (Mustafa Arslantunali,a.g.e.,s.91)

Result; In basic Art Education, it is required from a student that he observes, searches the objects from nature and interprets them within the framework of the subjects. Escher whose works are described above analyzed figures, objects and spaces in depth thanks to his ability to observe the world. Then in his tessellation works which he interpreted in his own way, he used and repeated tangible figures instead of abstract figures; and transformed them into different figures; interpreted eternity in his own way and included contrast such as lines, dots, white and black, small and big, dark and light and opposition in perspective. He chased the existing thing and the impossible one which is the opposition of it and realized this in his work in his own way.

The most important characteristic of Escher as an artist is his holding tradition and making an effort to improve a new painting reality. Painting reality of Escher is clear, inquisitive, easily readable and fluent and well built, surprising and it has ability to leave a mark thanks to its strong structure. No doubt, researcher and artist role and works of Escher have a qualification to improve education and to be an educational and pragmatic resource for the students who take Basic Art Education and start their art education.

Reference

Arkitect Dergisi , Issue: 452, August,1997, Istanbul)

Ödekan,Ayla,Qevre mimarlik ve görsel sanatlar dergisi , Issue:1 January / February 1979,) Keser,N. Artist Modern Magazine, Issue: 111, July - August,2010)

Mustafa Arslantunali,Ü£lu bucakli Sonsuzluk, Arradamento Decoration Magazine, April 1989, Issue.3, p.91)

Keser,N.Sanat Sözlügü, p.335,Ankara; Ütopya Publishing

Ernst,B.,The Magic Mirror of M.C.Escher, Taschen, 2007

Öztuna,H.Y.Görsel Ileti§imde Temel Tasarim,2007,Tibyan Publishing, Istanbul

Gökaydin,N. Sanat Egitimi Ögretim sistemi ve bilgi kapsami Temel Sanat Egitimi,Moss Egitim,2010