Didem Doğan

Escher Exhibition Chiostro del Bramante

On one of the narrow streets and little piazzas that head to famous Piazza Navona is located Chiostro del Bramante. It was built in late 15th century as a monastery in Renaissance style, today it serves as a public art space and during my visit was hosting Dutch artist Escher’s exhibition. 

The traffic artist and graver Escher lived here in this city for twelve years in his youth and traveled through almost the whole country, the Italian country side was one of the main inspirations of his work, and so were the Spanish cities such as Toledo, Alhambra, Granada. He visited the Cordoba Mosque and was impressed by the motifs in Alhambra Palace. The tile work with repetitive geometrical patterns, for example, must have inspired his work Metamorphosis. The spaces with stairs that go up and down with no frontier such as ceiling or ground, that seem limitless or spaceless, where it seems like there’s no gravity as in a space ship. Living creatures such as reptiles, birds, that repeats and turns into something else. Reflections, mirrors, the obsession with symmetry and mathematics, geometrical shapes… Escher’s work became known lately also in popular culture thanks to some artists who were inspired by his work such as director Nolan and his film Inception whee the dream world were described in an Escher like scenes, or Gondry’s video of Duft Punk’s Around the World song where robots go up and down stairs. Escher’s eyes distorted reality in such a way that figures that go toward infinity in a mathematical perspective that neared perfection created a boundless world.

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