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outstanding figure in the ever-expanding universal tradition. If the Rome congress failed to find someone to spell this out it is, after all, not surprising. Art criticism and art history have charted the progress of this century in such a way as to exclude almost all contemporary forms and practices of visual art from consideration by definition. This failure of art theory is not Escher’s story, of course, but no other individual artist of our times points more swiftly to its absurdity. Escher was well aware [3] that his work was some kind of antithesis to the successful gallery art of his day, that he and they were trying to do entirely different kinds of things. In the world of galleries, picture and ornament were taboo. Also Escher firmly believed in mass-reproduction as a good thing. It so happens that, in black and white,printing techniques are more or lessperfect. Sothe question will not go away: which is the art and which is the anti-art in this antithesis? We hear from the mathematicians in this book about Escher’s mathematical achievements. I suspect that many a professional graphic artist would praise the technicalities of his artistic achievement even more highly. Arthur Loeb tells us about the role of polyhedra in Escher’s pictures, and which he carved three dimensionally in wood. These carvings, which G. Escher recalls being made during the German occupation of Holland, deserve special consideration as the only Escher artworks not yet reproduced in mass edition. I would like to know whether the thought of mass-reproduction of these carved spheres had occurred to Escher. It is surely possible to do this, in complete keeping with the artist’s ideas on the validity of mass-reproduction, and the works are beautifully realised, tojudge by the photographs of two of them in this book. Several papers in the book deal with computer graphics used to generate Escher-like designs and explain why Escher-like ideas provide ideal material and methods for programming. The most novel aspect of computer graphics as a visual medium is its capacity to generate images from explicit rules, without the need of handicraft or photography. The fact that computing encourages us to think in terms of rules of number to define forms and transformations should do much to revive the natural scientist’s long-held belief in the link between nature and number, with a new artistic capacity.Meanwhile,Escher’s handiwork will set high visual standards to aim at for both hardware and software designers. REFERENCES H.S.M. Coxeter, “The Non-Euclidean Symmetry of Escher’s Picture ‘Circle Limit III’,” Leonardo 12, No. I . 19-25 Robert Dixon, “Aesthetics: A Cognitive Account”, Leonordo 19, No. 3, 237-240 (1986). Bruno Ernst, The Magic Mirror of M.C. Escher (New York:Ballantine, 1976). (1979). USING COMPUTERS TO CREATE ART by Stephen Wilson. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, U.S.A., 1986. 380 pp., illus. ISBN: 0 13938341 7. Reviewed by Makepeace Tsao, 533 Antioch Drive, Davis, CA 95616, U.S.A. This portable volume introduces computers to artists and is intended to bridge contemporary technology and the established arts. The author attempts to remove the intimidation of the mystique of computers that has kept many artists from adopting its possibilities. The book of 15chapters is divided into six parts. One chapter deals with the applications of the computer to visual, performing and literary arts and another deals with potential uses and their effects on society as well as the arts. Four chapters introduce the computer itself, including a fascinating account of the history of computers. This is followed by chapters on computer mechanics and computer programming. One chapter outlines computer application in music, another in graphics. These two chapters describe only the fundamentals because the rapid developments in music production and video technology would make a detailed account out of date before publication. In onepart the author makes a valiant effort to predict the future of computers in art. The last five chapters are in the nature of a procedure manual dealing with important programming skills in the use of computers. These chapters give a realistic view of what...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1530-9282
Print ISSN
0024-094X
Pages
pp. 92-93
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-04
Open Access
No
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