In the very first exhibition of MC Escher’s work in Australia, the NGV has established a unique curatorial offering by inviting internationally renowned designer Oki Sato of Nendo to collaborate on a series of immersive installations that skirt between what is real, and what is perception, echoing both artists' love of spatial gymnastics and optical illusion.
Dutch artist, muralist and printmaker, MC Escher, and Japanese designer Oki Sato of Nendo, share common interests: a love of spatial manipulation, optical illusions, playful visual devices, and recognisable images to convey complex concepts.
In a first for Australia, the NGV invited Nendo to respond to over 150 of Escher’s prints to create both the exhibition’s design and a series of new pieces by the Japanese designer.
Using the iconic shape of a house as the fundamental module for the exhibition, Nendo’s ‘A house for Escher’ appears throughout the exhibition in different forms, shifting in scale and material and engaging with Escher’s ideas in an immersive way. The resulting pieces are inspired by Escher’s artistic process and themes found in his artwork, from birds and insects, to fish and schematic figures.
Based in Tokyo and Milan, Nendo is one of the world’s most well-known and sought after design studios, creating graphics, products, furniture, installations and interiors for brands including Glas Italia, Kartell and GTV. His ideas seek to surprise people in subtle, intelligent and playful ways. Like the work of Escher that explored the mysterious and paradoxical nature of space, time and human perception, Nendo’s designs are also at once serious and playful and push the boundaries between art and design.
During the development of the exhibition, Nendo also created a series of new objects that form part of the show. What started as paper mockups and tests evolved into 11 three-dimensional objects made from black and white painted metal.
The first time in Australia the MC Escher collection is drawn from the renowned holdings of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in The Hague, the Netherlands. Escher x Nendo | Between Two Worlds at the NGV is open now and runs until 7 April, 2019.
Space Furniture is a proud supporter of the NGV.