Tuesday, April 29, 2008

M C Escher's Puzzling Art in Rome

Spring afternoon in Rome
Originally uploaded by Axel Antòn
Quite by accident yesterday I happened on a wonderful M C Escher exhibition at the Auditorium – Parco della Musica. It actually opened back in March as part of the Festival of Mathematics, which is undoubtedly why it slipped my attention. Entitled L’arte del puzzle e il puzzle dell’arte (The art of puzzles and puzzling art) the curator Federico Giudiceandrea has brought together 66 original linocuts, lithographs, etchings, and even watercolours which brilliantly take us through the Dutch artist's entire output and interests, beyond the widely known fantastical and often maddening architectural landscapes.

So much has been written about how these apparently decorative patterns are based upon mathematical concepts of the infinite, yet on seeing the original works I was surprised by just how beautiful they are. I particularly liked The Puddle (1952, lithograph printed from three blocks), Three Worlds (1955, lithograph) and Rippled Surface (1950, linocut) which all seem to have a distinctly Japanese influence. The symmetry drawings on squared paper in pencil and watercolour (Eagles) were also really lovely, as were the colour woodcut prints of tessellated animals, and the large and rather dramatic black and white woodcuts of beetles, ants, serpents and grasshopper.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Rome Celebrates Earth Day

After Rome (indeed Italy as a whole) distinguished itself by being one of the few European capitals to have totally ignored Al Gore's global call to action and last summer's Live Earth concerts, it's refreshing to see that Rome will instead be joining other cities across the planet to celebrate Earth Day with a free concert at Campidoglio featuring Cesaria Evora and Vinicio Capossela amongst others.

The concert will be transmitted live on LifeGate Radio

Happy Birthday Roma!

Natale di Roma
Originally uploaded by Daniele Muscetta
Probably more than any other city in the wold, the history of the city of Rome is apparent at every turn; after all, a stroll through Rome is rather like walking through an open air museum. It may come as no surprise therefore to learn that it's celebrating its 2,761st birthday today! Although the eternal city is probably much older, its foundation – il Natale di Roma - is officially noted as 21 April 753 BC. A series of events and concerts to celebrate the event will be continuing through till 9 May, 2008. Full programme available here.

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