Nov 03, 2022 - Sale 2620

Sale 2620 - Lot 483

Price Realized: $ 23,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000
Convex and Concave.

Lithograph, 1955. 280x330 mm; 11x13 1/4 inches, full margins. Signed and numbered "No. 17/56 IV" in pencil, lower left. A superb, well-inked impression of this scarce lithograph with all the subtle tonal variations distinct.

According to Bool, a small model of a metal staircase painted white, which was a gift from his friend Professor Jan Arnoldus Schouten, a Dutch mathematician at the Delft University of Technology, inspired Escher (1898-1972) to create Convex and Concave. When it is viewed with one eye, the image of the staircase conjured up in the brain constantly changes. "When carefully studied, this print is a visual nightmare. At first glance, it seems to be a symmetrical structure: the left half is an approximate mirror image of the right half and the transition from left to right is gradual and very natural. Nevertheless something terrible happens at the transition in the center: everything is literally turned inside out. The top becomes the bottom, the front becomes the back. People, lizards and flowerpots rebel against the inversion; we identify them too clearly with tangible realities of which we do not know the inside-out form. But they, too, have to pay the price when they cross the borderline: their relation to the environment becomes so strange that looking at them makes you feel dizzy. For example, at the bottom left a man is climbing onto a platform by a ladder. He sees a small temple in front of him. He could stand next to the sleeping man and wake him up to ask why the shell-shaped pool in the middle is empty. Then he could go to the stairs on the right with the intention of walking up them. But it is already too late! What looked like stairs seen from the left, has suddenly turned into part of an arched vault. He would notice that the platform, which was once firm ground under his feet, is now a ceiling, and he would crash down with a terrified scream. The border line between the left and right half cannot be crossed without danger." Bool 399.