Kunstmuseum Den Haag opens exhibition of works by Escher and artistic duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

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Kunstmuseum Den Haag opens exhibition of works by Escher and artistic duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh
Impression of installation and prints in room Infinity in the exhibition Escher – Other World by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh.

THE HAGUE.- Step into the impossible world of Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) – quite literally, at Kunstmuseum Den Haag’s Escher – Other World. This exhibition will allow visitors to experience the work of Escher as never before, combining his famous prints, which revolve around optical illusions, impossible architecture, reflections and the natural world, with spectacular installations by Belgian artistic duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh. This is the first time such an intervention has featured in an exhibition at Kunstmuseum Den Haag.

This unique combination sheds new light on the popular and versatile artist Maurits Cornelis Escher who, 125 years after his birth, still inspires people of all ages the world over, including mathematicians, architects, artists and art lovers.

Other World

Escher’s prints are the result of his unprecedented talent, and also of his almost obsessive devotion to the art of printmaking. His work, like that of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, explores the boundaries of space, landscape, perspective and illusion. While Escher explored on paper, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh do so in spatial installations. For this exhibition, the core element of which is a cross-section of the work of M.C. Escher, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh have devised space-filling interventions, sculptures based on the notions of light and heavy, temporary and eternal, impossible architecture and infinity, which are also key elements in the work of Escher.

Day and Night

This double exhibition has been divided into two sections representing night and day, a contrast that fascinated Escher. The first part of the show, DAY, arranged by theme, is being displayed in the museum's large, daylit galleries, where the work of Escher and the spatial installations of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh challenge and enhance each other. In the second part, NIGHT, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh have been given the opportunity to combine their models of dream architecture with more intuitive and idiosyncratic elements of Escher’s work.

Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

The striking work of artistic duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh straddles the boundary between art and architecture. Arnout Van Vaerenbergh and Pieterjan Gijs (both b. 1983, Louvain) met while studying architecture in Louvain, where they decided to combine their individual quests for a new perception of space. The idiosyncratic art of Gijs Van Vaerenbergh is constantly in flux. What might appear from a distance to be a familiar structure, like a church, a windmill or a maze, turns out to be an abstract composition of simple elements, with no permanent form, as the artists trick their viewers’ eyes and subvert their experience of their surroundings. Escher – Other World is their first major museum show.

Escher and Kunstmuseum Den Haag

Kunstmuseum Den Haag is home to one of the world’s largest museum collections of Escher’s work. This came about thanks to the connection the museum built with the artist after it hosted the first major retrospective of his work, The Worlds of M.C. Escher, in 1968. Escher was delighted with the result. After his death Kunstmuseum Den Haag acquired a considerable proportion of his oeuvre, some of which is on permanent display at Escher in The Palace.

Escher for all – temporary discount on entrance fee

As well as special (free) evenings at the museum for all Hague residents, Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Escher at The Palace are offering two-in-one tickets for € 10 during the first month of the exhibition. Buy your reduced-price ticket for both museums online using the discount code ESCHER2023.

Amazing waterfall

The sense of amazement prompted by the work of Escher and Gijs Van Vaerenbergh in Escher – Other World starts in the museum’s entrance hall, with the fabulous kinetic installation Isomic, in which movements and reflected light give the impression of water flowing both up and down. Isomic was designed by Studio Martens & Visser.

2023 Den Haag stad van Escher

This year is the 125th anniversary of the birth of Maurits Cornelis Escher. With the world’s largest museum collection of work by Escher, Kunstmuseum Den Haag and Escher in The Palace are the focus of this special anniversary year. Four exhibitions and a host of activities with cultural partners, schools, local communities and businesses will truly make The Hague the city of Escher in 2023. During this anniversary year a number of buildings and shop windows in the city centre will be decorated in Escher style.

The Man Who Discovered Escher: Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita
18 February 2023 – 1 October 2023 at Escher in The Palace

A unique exhibition about Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita, the man who discovered Maurits Cornelis Escher, opened at Escher in The Palace on 18 February. De Mesquita, a talented artist and printmaker, also taught graphic techniques at the School of Architecture and Decorative Arts. When Escher enrolled there as an architecture student, De Mesquita happened to see some of his graphic work. He was so impressed that he persuaded Escher to switch courses. Escher went on to become a master of printmaking, and the two developed a lifelong artistic and personal connection. After De Mesquita’s death in Auschwitz in 1944, Escher continued to honour the memory of his teacher and friend. In this exhibition Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita’s poignant prints are being shown alongside work by his most famous student

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