Moebius Strip II (Red Ants) (1963) by Maurits Cornelis Escher

Moebius Strip II (Red Ants) - Maurits Cornelis Escher - 1964

Artwork Information

TitleMoebius Strip II (Red Ants)
ArtistMaurits Cornelis Escher
MediumWoodcut printed from three blocks
Dimensions45.3 x 20.5 cm (17 7/8 x 8 1/8 in.)
Art MovementSurrealism

About Moebius Strip II (Red Ants)

“Moebius Strip II (Red Ants)” is an artwork created by the Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher in 1964. This woodcut, printed from three blocks, measures 45.3 x 20.5 cm (17 7/8 x 8 1/8 in.) and exemplifies the Surrealist art movement, categorized specifically as an animal painting. The striking and meticulous composition demonstrates Escher’s mastery of illusion and his fascination with mathematical concepts as expressed through art.

The artwork depicts a Moebius strip, a non-orientable surface with a twist that connects the ends of a loop, creating a continuous path. Escher has infused this mathematical form with life by adorning it with numerous large, meticulously detailed red ants. These ants traverse the loop in a seamless, never-ending procession that highlights the properties of the Moebius strip, as they navigate an endless journey on both the “inside” and “outside” of the loop without ever actually crossing an edge. The contrast in color between the ants and the lattice-like structure of the strip heightens the visual impact, creating a looping journey that captivates the viewer with both its conceptual depth and its technical precision. Escher’s work often plays with perception and reality, and “Moebius Strip II (Red Ants)” serves as a quintessential example of his innovative approach to visual storytelling through intricate design and an exploration of infinity.

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