Win tickets to enter the world of MC Escher: an unparalleled learning experience

Win tickets to enter the world of MC Escher: an unparalleled learning experience

Brought to you by La Trobe University: the Learning Partner of the National  Gallery of Victoria, and the NGV’s forthcoming world-premiere exhibition: Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds.

To celebrate Escher X nendo, we’re offering you the chance to win two tickets to the 2018 NGV Gala on Saturday 1 December 2018, an exciting evening being held in honour of the world premiere. These tickets, valued at $500 each, will give you and a guest the chance to experience glamour, art, fashion and musical performances accompanied by fine wine and culinary delights.

See below for competition details.

You’ve seen his art on everything from neckties to jigsaws.

Illustrations of impossible constructions, like the vertigo-inducing interconnected staircases of Relativity.

Interlocking forms in which repeating shapes of fish, birds and people fully occupy each other’s negative space.

But what do you really know about MC Escher?

From 2 December 2018 until 7 April 2019, the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) unlocks the world of this enigmatic illustrator with Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds.

The world-premiere exhibition features over 150 original Escher works, integrated with an immersive gallery experience created by acclaimed Japanese design studio nendo.

Escher: complex yet accessible

MC (Maurits Cornelis) Escher was born in 1898 in the Netherlands. After failing his high school exams, he studied at the School for Architecture and Decorative Arts in Haarlem. There he was encouraged to focus on graphic design by a lecturer who saw talent in Escher’s drawings and linoleum cuts.

M.C. Escher
Drawing Hands
© The M.C. Escher Company, The Netherlands. All rights reserved.

Escher travelled throughout Italy in the 1920s and 30s, taking particular interest in the Moorish architecture of the country’s south. His deep interest in Islamic architecture and design had been inspired by a 1922 visit to Spain, during which he travelled to the famous 14th-Century Alhambra palace in Granada.

Escher was fascinated by the patterns on the palace’s decorative tile-work, which are mathematically unique in demonstrating almost all of the seventeen symmetrical orientations possible in a two-dimensional plane.

The influence of these impressive symmetries can be seen in the tessellated drawings of Escher’s Regular Division of the Plane series. Many of these works are collected in his 1958 volume of the same name. He would continue to explore this theme until the late 1960s, resulting in a total of 137 illustrations.

Though Escher is widely known today, he received little recognition from the art world during his lifetime. He has long been celebrated in mathematical and countercultural circles, the latter sometimes to his chagrin (he famously turned down work with the Rolling Stones and Stanley Kubrick). He was frequently commissioned to create public artworks. However, his first major retrospective exhibition would not be held until 1968 at the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, when he was 70.

Since his death in 1972, Escher’s popularity has continued to grow, fostered by many exhibitions, both permanent and temporary. These include the collection held by the Gemeentemuseum, from which the works in Escher X nendo are drawn.

“Escher’s works are familiar even if people don’t know him by name,” says Dr Vincent Alessi, Senior Lecturer in Creative Arts and English at La Trobe.

“His work is conceptually and technically complex, yet remains highly accessible. The opportunity to see a substantial body of his work is truly exciting.”

nendo: a natural fit

Thin Black Lines and Dancing Squares
Nendo, 2011
Installation, Taiwan Craft Research Institute
Photo: Daici Ano
© Nendo

But what of nendo, the other creative partner in the exhibition? nendo is the brainchild of founder and chief designer Oki Sato. Their designs have been exhibited in The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Mondriaan Foundation in the Netherlands. nendo was also featured in the NGV Triennial, the NGV’s major 2017 summer exhibition.

nendo’s recent work has included porcelain tables that dissolve into lily pads, furniture in the shape of Chinese pictograms and tiny thin shelves that cleave to the corners of a room. This playful imagination and intuitive sense of space is ideally suited to developing a gallery framework that echoes Escher’s approach to design.

“Escher’s math-based ideas and interests have inspired nendo’s work and served as a base for the creation of this exhibition design,” says Sato. “The different installations vary in scale and in spatial impact, enabling the visitor to experience Escher’s world in a very physical way.”

Beyond the art: learn more about Escher with Summer at the NGV

La Trobe University is the Learning Partner of the NGV and Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds. This affirms our commitment to delivering outstanding student experiences through engagement and learning opportunities with industry leaders.

For our students, that means the exclusive opportunity to enrol in Summer at the NGV, the only university-accredited summer school subject taught at the gallery. It’s open to La Trobe University students from all disciplines, using concepts found in social history, visual art and philosophy to explore key themes in Escher X nendo.

In collaboration with NGV curators, La Trobe academics will present immersive lectures and floor talks among the artworks, while beyond the classes students will receive ongoing access to the exhibition.

For Dr Alessi, this represents a valuable learning opportunity.

“As an art historian, most of my learning was done by viewing artworks in books and slides,” Dr Alessi says. “The Summer School changes that for our students. Returning to the works lets you explore the nuances of the objects you’re studying. It’s an emotional and visceral experience you can only have when you stand in front of great art.”

Subscribe for the chance to win two tickets to the NGV Gala, plus the chance to win one of five double passes to the NGV Friday Nights


Images: NGV Gala Ball 2017.

To celebrate Escher X nendo | Between Two Worlds, we’re offering one lucky Nest subscriber the chance to win two tickets to the 2018 NGV Gala on Saturday 1 December 2018, an exciting evening being held in honour of the exhibition’s world premiere. These tickets, valued at $500 each, will give you and a guest the chance to experience glamour, art, fashion and musical performances accompanied by fine wine and culinary delights.

The NGV Gala will offer all attendees exclusive access to this inspirational exhibition. The night will feature bespoke cocktails from The Bar at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Meanwhile, the NGV Garden Restaurant will morph into the Bombay Sapphire Gin Garden, with the event boasting an exclusive menu from award-winning Melbourne chef Andrew McConnell.

Everyone who enters this competition will also be in the running to win one of five double passes to Escher X nendo as part of the NGV Friday Nights series running from 7 December 2018 to 5 April 2019. Passes are valued at $35 each.

For your chance to win, simply subscribe to Nest before Sunday 25 November 2018.

Click on the Subscribe link, enter your details and agree to the terms and conditions. Subscription to Nest is free. Winners will be contacted by mobile phone and email.

If you’re already subscribed to Nest, you can still enter this competition by filling in the form (don’t worry – you won’t end up with two Nest newsletters in your inbox).

Subscribe to Nest for your chance to win.

Visit the NGV website for more on Escher X Nendo | Between Two Worlds.

Interested in studying visual arts at La Trobe University? Learn about our Art History and Visual Arts courses.

Already at La Trobe? Enrol in our Summer at the NGV subject for a unique learning experience.