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M.C. Escher's Legacy: A Centennial Celebration

Summary: M.C. Escher's Legacy: A Centennial
by Doris Schattschneider and Michelle Emmer
New York, Springer-Verlag, 2003
458 pp., US $ 99.00, ISBN 354042458X
Reviewed by Helmer Aslaksen
Do we need another Escher book? Ever since Escher was "discovered" by
the mathematical community in the early 1950's, he has been the archetypical
mathematical artist. His work can be found on the walls of many mathemat-
ics department, and whenever mathematicians need to demonstrate a link
between mathematics and art, they usually use some Escher pictures.
Is this healthy? Some mathematicians feel that the ubiquitousness of
Escher prevents other aspects of mathematical art from getting the attention
they deserve. It is also important to realize that the arts community does not
share our fascination with Escher. Many of them simply don't consider him
to be an artist! When I was mathematical consultant for the exhibition "Art
Figures: Mathematics in Art" at the Singapore Art Museum, I had to adhere
to a strict no-Escher policy. Our preoccupation with Escher may hinder us
when reaching out to the arts community. If you say that Escher is your


Source: Aslaksen, Helmer - Department of Mathematics, National University of Singapore


Collections: Mathematics