06/22/2019 - 02/28/2020

Hosted by Matera 2019 – European Capital of Culture


When we move, what happens in the place we left? Does it remain empty? Does it fill up? With what?


The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384–322 BC) responds that bodies move from one place to another like fish in water and that nature does not allow for emptiness. Hence another question arises. If nature is full, what forms can the primordial elements, or ‘atoms’ if we prefer, take to match one another and fill the void?


Since the time of Euclid (who lived between the fourth and third centuries BC), researchers of geometry and algebra have looked for possible answers. Alongside them, generations of artists have measured themselves against the same theme, taking it from the three dimensions of space to the two dimensions of the flat surface and designing tiles that, by translation, cover it in full. A classic example is the tiling of the Alhambra, in Granada.


Filling the Void presents instead a review of the most recent works dedicated to the tessellation of flat surfaces: those carried out by M.C. Escher in the 1930–70s and those from a series of contemporary artists inspired by the same tradition.


The exhibition is a part of the show “The Poetry of Primes – From Pitagora to algorithms”, curated by Piergiorgio Odifreddi.


Photo Credits: Matera 2019

Lender: Maurits Srl

Curator: Federico Giudiceandrea

The layout of the exhibition was entirely designed and curated by the Open Design School.