A master of optical illusion, M. C. Escher combines different perspectives in his prints, presenting visual contradictions that have long intrigued audiences.
Benno Tempel, Director of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in The Hague, home of the world’s largest public collection of Escher’s work, reflects on the man behind the prints, the sense of humour in his art, and takes a closer look at the impossible constructions he made.
Benno Tempel is an art historian and director of the Gemeentemuseum. He has written a number of books on art, including Escher Meets Islamic Art (2014), which investigates how the patterns of Moorish art from southern Spain influenced the artist’s work. Tempel started his career as guest curator at the Dordrecht Museum, worked as assistant curator at the Van Gogh Museum from 1997 to 2000, as curator at the Mesdag Museum and as a member of the scientific staff at the Rijksmuseum. He was curator of exhibitions at Kunsthal Rotterdam from 2000 to 2006. He briefly returned to the Van Gogh Museum in 2009 before taking on his current position.
Matthew Anderson is the European culture editor of The New York Times and oversees coverage of the arts and entertainment from The Times’s bureau in London. Anderson joined The New York Times in 2017 from the BBC, where he worked for 10 years as a reporter, producer and editor for TV, radio and online content. He edited the BBC.com homepage from 2010 to 2013, then became the inaugural editor of BBC Culture, an arts and entertainment site aimed at digital users outside the U.K. In that role he oversaw the BBC’s coverage of major international cultural events including the Cannes and Sundance film festivals, the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Art Basel Hong Kong. Anderson grew up in Adelaide, Australia and currently lives in London.