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Maurits Cornelis Escher completed 448 lithographs, woodcuts and wood engravings, and more than 2,000 drawings and sketches during his lifetime. Walker Fine Art partnered with the gallery to bring the pieces to Philadelphia for a couple of days.
Art collector and dealer Rock Walker has been acquiring Escher pieces since he was 17. Now 81, Escher’s work still has the same effect on him all these years later.
“You can look at them every day,” Walker said. “There are lots of artworks you grow tired of or you get tired of looking at. Escher grabs you and holds on to you and he leaves you with a smile.”
While Escher is mainly known for his popular works such as “Relativity,” he began his career by creating Italian landscapes when he lived in the country for more than a decade.
“He woke up one morning and said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’” Walker said.
This led Escher to renounce traditional works to focus on his “impossible drawings” and “metamorphoses.”
“Escher’s work teaches you how to re-see reality,” Walker said. “Escher is smart art. It gets you to start thinking rather than having your eyes glued to an iPhone.”
“Escher did it the old-fashioned way one at a time,” Walker said. “He carved all his blocks. He drew on all his lithography stones. … I like to say that Escher danced on the head of a pen, metaphorically of course, and he was the Einstein of the art world, the bridge between art, science, [and] math.”