The exhibition The Man Who Discovered Escher: Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita does not only feature graphic art by M.C. Escher and De Mesquita, it also features artworks by Spanish artist Susanna Inglada (1983). Inglada’s large-scale, theatrical installations made with wood and paper aim to confront the viewer with the emotions imbued in the artwork, often using the graphic technique of a linocut. Her work carries political meaning and touches upon themes such as societal powerstructures, corruption and gender inequality. The artist gives voice to these topics through her characters’ expressive facial features and depictions of tangled, struggling limbs.
This exhibition features a selection of Inglada’s artworks that focus on hands. For the three artists whose work is presented – M.C. Escher, Samuel Jessurun de Mesquita and Susanna Inglada – hands are an essential tool for creating. All three understand the skill required to master the arts of drawing and printing, and all three use their hands during the labour-intensive process of creating woodcuts, linocuts or lithographs. Inglada’s hands represent a coming together, or unification of forces and strengths; a connection that is reflected in the relationship between De Mesquita as teacher and Escher as pupil. Inglada is also adept at portraying hands in a way that exudes emotion. Her powerful works are loaded with emotional meaning around the feeling of loss and liberation, which she conveys to the viewer without any words at all. This gives the audience the freedom to interpret the artworks in their own way. Being placed in the room among artworks by Escher and De Mesquita, a unique and fascinating dialogue between the artists is incited.