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Playing with Mirrors

14 June to 4 September 2022

Escher in The Palace will be looking in the mirror of M.C. Escher this summer. Escher’s world is a mirrored world – a game of repetition and reflection, looking and being amazed. His self-portraits in convex mirrors show the graphic artist himself in just such an alternative world. The reflections in natural scenes or small Italian streets betray Escher’s love of the possibilities that reflections bring. This summer, you will experience Escher’s fascination in Escher in The Palace. A fascination that continues to grip contemporary artists to this day.

A beautiful example of this are the mirrored spheres by Arnout Visser (1962). In the early years, this glass artist contributed to the success of Droog Design with his designs and he always looks for striking forms in his glass art. His Explosion Spheres are mirror balls on steroids: explosions of reflections in which he blows liquid glass through a thin metal net, thereby creating a ‘frozen explosion’. It is difficult to control this burst of bubbles, so each sphere is unique and reflects the viewer differently. A technical tour de force that results in a miniature world with dozens of different reflections.

In the permanent exhibition on the second floor, you can admire the reflective artworks of glass artist Tomas Hillebrand and optical glass masters Václav Cígler and Miloš Balgavý. In the optical illusion cabinet by Ad van der Kouwe and Don Satijn, your gaze is drawn forever downwards. In addition, the youngest museum visitors can discover the world of M.C. Escher’s mirrors by taking part in a playful family quest. This summer, an explosion of mirrors will ensure unique encounters between art and people.

Art as a mirror of the soul

The new acquisition by the contemporary artist Jelle Korevaar, entitled … (Dotdotdot), will be on show at the same time. Korevaar’s work is displayed next to Escher’s print Eye – one of Escher’s reflective masterpieces, in which you see a skull reflected in the pupil of an eye. Korevaar plays with the same themes in his skull, such as death, eternity, introspection and reflection. A mechanical skull that continuously and incessantly cries thick tears of oil. With both artists, the viewer sees the work, but they also look their own mortality in the eye.

Jelle Korevaar, ... (Dotdotdot), 2017
M.C. Escher, Eye (seventh and definitive state), mezzotint, October 1946

… (Dotdotdot) is an infinite movement – the skull cries endlessly. M.C. Escher was also fascinated by this form of infinity, as can be seen in his prints Waterfall and Möbius Strip. It is not possible in reality, but on paper Escher creates eternity in the mind of the viewer. Thanks to the built-in energy source and the continuously rotating wheels, Korevaar does manage to achieve eternity. The optical illusion of Escher’s perpetuum mobile is a reality in Korevaar’s skull.