Per Speculum in Aenigmate: Pushing Aesthetic Boundaries

Starting on 25 February Contemporary Cluster inaugurates the exhibition Per Speculum in Aenigmate, on show until 13 March – a special project that, for the first time, in the evocative setting of Palazzo Brancaccio in Rome, brings Aurel K. Basedow‘s new body of pictorial works into dialogue with some of the iconic design pieces of the Draga & Aurel multi-disciplinary design duo.

Draga & Aurel

The title of this exhibition, appearing in Rome, refers to a fundamental passage from Saint Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, a biblical text on which the dogmatic Christian creed regarding the impossibility of any human knowledge with respect to the divine was founded, and which is transformed by Draga & Aurel – Draga Obradovic and Aurel K. Basedow into its most evocative and poetic aspect.

The Exhibition

The exhibition’s elements of the mirror and the enigma refer to Draga & Aurel’s work, always in a state of perpetual splitting, in which its simultaneous nature as a piece of furniture and a work of art is revealed. The normal fruition of each of their artefacts is amplified in the infinite reflections produced by the surfaces in resin surfaces, appearing like thick glass petrifications in sidereal shades, rest on slender iron or bronze structures at times comingling with cement. Theirs is a well-established formal and productive gestation, but Aurel has recently decided to broaden its aesthetic boundaries, going beyond the paradigm of functionality to create a cycle of pictorial works in the form of solid translucent totems, containing textured fabrics and photographic images.

Contemporary Cluster in Rome

For Rome’s exhibition Contemporary Cluster, Draga & Aurel have come up with a hybrid route that comprehensively displays the results of their artistic production. With the same rhythmic pattern as a musical score, made up of notes but also slurs, accents and pauses, they modulate deliberately “cathedral-like” environments, made up of the cadenced alternation of different elements: tubular lights, monochrome blades or seats, placed to highlight spatial symmetries or to reveal eclectic polychrome agglomerates in which the large “canvases” enter into counterpoint with a series of punctiform tables.

The last room of the exhibition houses Aurel’s only artistic work, constituting an intimate moment, a “pause” in which he concentrates on certain interior themes, closely linked to the current pandemic status; the concepts of fear or constraint are transferred and imprinted in a series of papers where magmatic, watery, uninterrupted and very decisive brushstrokes unhesitatingly camouflage the peculiar aspects of photographic images, all selected from the artist’s personal archive.

Per Speculum in Aenigmate: Pushing Aesthetic Boundaries

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