It is important that projects in this category elicit an emotive response and the visual beauty, detail, lighting and graphic nature of Escher × Nendo: Between Two Worlds does this resoundingly well. The jury commended the rigour and restraint exercised in the exhibition of Escher’s work via the creation of spatial environments by Nendo and the NGV and agreed the coupling of artist and designer was a brilliant idea. Even more impressive is the fusion of art and design in a way that makes the visitor experience complete.
Moving through the space with its twists and turns is all part of the visual orientation and disorientation associated with the artist’s work, and Nendo’s geo- metric sensibilities articulate this very well. This collection of journeys is compelling yet not overwhelming, which is the exhibition’s strength. And the interpretation of Escher’s work in this way makes for a diverse spatial experience that’s really exceptional.
This exhibition is a groundbreaking survey of the work of Dutch artist MC Escher in dialogue with work and spaces designed in collaboration with acclaimed Japanese design studio Nendo. The resulting exhibition reveals the mastery of both practices, bringing together the world of art and contemporary design. The National Gallery of Victoria invited Nendo to collaborate with its in-house design team to create unique spatial environments within the museum that draw inspiration from artist MC Escher. The ultimate goal was to create a visionary exhibition that seamlessly presents both Escher and designer together. Throughout the exhibition the basic form of the house is used as a building block to explore Escher’s concepts and spatial forms. The exhibition covers approximately 1,550 square metres and when experienced sequentially, the design process as a whole is evoked. Basic forms, geometric shapes, and the contrast of black and white, and light and darkness mimic and complement Escher’s practice, seamlessly folding the work and design into each other.