I just discovered some interesting commonalities between my own work process and M.C. Escher’s. Amongst the echoes and resonances that I found (while looking at Escher’s notebooks with drawings and studies of the geometric design work at the Alhambra and La Mesquita in Córdoba,) was this particular drawing (one with circular decorative patterns and the growing complexity of “hidden” circular interweaving layers – see below) along with his reflections on the general adaptability of geometric designs.
Escher Notebooks (1941): The Regular Division of the Plane, p. 30.
“The regular division of the plane can, for aesthetic purposes, be applied to decorate an arbitrary surface. In the regular division of the plane the drawing surface is infinite in all directions…Usually, however, the surface is bounded on all sides, namely in a rectangular way…When the form of the repeating motif, or motifs, is a purely geometric one, then the question of whether the drawing surface is to be placed horizontally or vertically may be important from an aesthetic point of view, but from a logical point of view it does not matter: a mathematical figure can be viewed aesthetically from whatever side one looks at it.”
Escher adopted a set of geometric forms as a structural framework for his designs.
He employed the “parallelogram, rectangle, square, triangle, rhombus, hexagon” and a set of what he termed “geometric motions that [would] preserve [an] exact shape: translation, rotation and glide reflection. These three motions and no others, are those that can be used to move a given motif to an adjacent congruent motif in a regular division of the plane.”
(For a further elaboration on this subject: Doris Schattschneider, “M.C. Escher: Visions of Symmetry”)
With Escher’s work as a fascinating historical perspective, I now turn to address the first set of paintings in my own project. I have to underline that I had not seen this work by Escher when I devised my own structural approach. But I think it is remarkable, since it is describing so well my own journey of exploration with geometric abstraction. I wonder for how many other artists this will also come as a pleasant surprise.
Artworks – Building Combinations
Framework with a circular arrangement
This framework has been working well thus far. There have been some minor variations-alterations that I have had to improvise upon, but I am re-adapting the artworks and the framework as the project continues to evolve.
I will keep you posted as it unfolds.