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M.C. Escher: His Life and Complete Graphic Work (With a Fully Illustrated Catalogue) Hardcover – September 1, 1992
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Top Customer Reviews
The other key books on Escher are VISIONS OF SYMMETRY; THE MAGIC MIRROR OF M.C. ESCHER; and THE GRAPHIC WORK OF M.C. ESCHER.
The great thing about this book is not just the extensive and readable biography, but the complete (so they say) catalog of his graphic works. Even people very familiar with Escher's ouvre will be surprised by some of the entries here. They go back to work he did at ages 18 and 19, and show the devleopment of the Escher that has become so famous. It's just a little disappointing that the catalog is printed only in black and white, when so many of his works used color. The catalog reproductions are just that - a listing of his work, not a gallery, so the quarter-page size of most pieces is adequate for recognizing a piece, if not for appreciating it fully.
It is fascinating to see Escher's style develop though his (and the twentieth century's) twenties. Various influences early on suggest Beardsley (cat. 49, 67), Picasso (cat. 51, 58), or the pervasive Art Deco of his time (cat.34). Even then, some of Escher's later fascinations begin to emerge, including hands and reflective balls (cat. 88 and 80), symmetries and tilings (cat. 61, 65), and complex interactions of many figures in a repeating structure (cat. 90). The lesser-known parts of his work also start to emerge by the time he's 30, including delicate lithographs (cat. 129, 132). As much as I love his visual paradoxes and flirtation with the infinite, the lithos and mezzotints are the pieces that truly move me. "Snow" and "Blowball" (cat. 278 and 330) have an eloquent simplicity. "Eye" and "Drop" (cat. 344 and 356) demonstrate his classical sense and his perseverance with the demanding medium of mezzotint.
The text is also thorough and enjoyable - a good thing, since it takes up half of this heavy book, including its own set of illustrations.Read more ›
M.C. Escher, as everyone knows, finds millions of new devotees, even copy-cats, with each new generation. His intriguing and fascinating work has influenced and inspired, and has been enjoyed and admired by, people worldwide, crossing cultures and age groups. There's no point in elaborating on (or belaboring) that issue.
What is at issue is this book. It is a complete compilation, and the catalogue is invaluable for the collector (or would-be collector, in my case). Most of the text may not be new to anyone who has studied Escher's works and life. Still, surprises and insights abounded. The binding is sturdy. But most importantly, the quality, clarity and high resolution of the illustrations are better than any others that I have seen. To me, it is the next best to having an original Escher hanging on your wall. I have only had this book for a week and I can barely tear myself away from it. Happy birthday to me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Colors no where close to the vibrancy of the actual art. But it is a nice catalog of his works. It was an used book and not quite in as good a condition as it was described. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mad Momma
Got this book as a Christmas gift for my graphic designer son...and it was loved and coveted by his engineer father, his computer science/virtual world developer brother, his... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kjirstin Youngberg