Escher in The Palace enriches its playful second floor with three glass artworks by Tomas Hillebrand. As an artist, Hillebrand (Amsterdam, 1977) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy with large charcoal drawings, but after his training he turned to making glass sculptures. Whereas glass is often used to make functional objects, Hillebrand’s fascination lies in creating autonomous works of art. In his recent work, the spherical glass sculptures are often silvered, so that the viewer sees himself reflected in the glass.
The sculptures can now be seen as a permanent part of the interactive exhibition on the second floor. The three glass sculptures are characterised by their reflections; a theme that Hillebrand shares with Escher. The mirrors suck the viewer into the sculpture. In doing so, one sees oneself reduced in size through the convexity of the mirror in a space that appears much larger. The reflection distorts the viewer’s world and creates its own new reality. A link can be made between these glass sculptures and prints by Escher, such as Hand with Reflecting Sphere (1935). Both artists share a preference for distorting effects, through which optical games and pleasure also occupy a central place in their work.