Prepare to heighten all of your visual perceptions–a 20-mintue documentary from 1971 about the legendary graphic artist M.C. Escher is online and you can check it out above. Directed by Dutch filmmaker Han van Gelder, Adventures in Perception is as in depth as one could get today to the process behind such iconic works as the trippy (pun-intended) stairways in “Relativity” (1953) and those mighty morphing frog-bird creatures in “Verbum” (1942).
Via Laughing Squid, this resurfaced documentary isn’t new stuff but it sure is old school cool. It was released one year before Maurits Cornelis Escher’s death for a European program called “Living Art The Netherlands.” Much like fellow artist Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher has always been an interesting guy. He was part mathematician, architect, and scientist, living in the wild world of modern art. During his life, Escher made an impressive total of 448 lithographs, woodcuts, and wood engravings and over 2000 drawings and sketches. Our favorite Escher quote from this documentary sums up his entire career: “This name, artist, I’ve always been very suspicious of it. I don’t actually know what that means. I don’t even know what art is. I do know what science is. But I’m no scientist.”
In the first half of Adventures in Perception the camera zooms in and out of the countless constructions Escher pieced together which form his now iconic tessellations in monochromatic patterns. A dissonant modern score by Felix Visser plays in the background, making it feel like an IRL VHS version of the video game Fez. The second half of the documentary is super zany featuring quote after quote of Escher statements played over live demonstrations of the artist at work. You can learn more about M.C. Escher at the Official Website provided by The M.C. Escher Foundation. What are your favorite artworks by Escher? Let us know below!