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Draga & Aurel take cues from Biblical texts for Per Speculum in Aenigmate
Draga & Aurel present Golia console, Joy lamps, Rive bench and Cala bench at the ‘Per Speculum In Aenigmate’ exhibition at Contemporary Cluster
Image: Courtesy of Draga & Aurel

Draga & Aurel take cues from Biblical texts for Per Speculum in Aenigmate

Per Speculum in Aenigmate will be open to visitors at Contemporary Cluster from 26th February to 13th March 2022

by Draga & Aurel
Published on : Feb 28, 2022

Contemporary Cluster recently launched their latest headquarters in Palazzo Brancaccio at Rome, Italy. The brand new Italian gallery is set to inaugurate Per Speculum in Aenigmate, a special exhibit that will forge a dialogue between Aurel K. Basedow’s new body of pictorial works and some of the iconic design pieces of the duo Draga & Aurel, to which he belongs.

The exhibition, titled ‘Per Speculum in Aenigmate’, refers to a fundamental passage from the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians. Drawing references from the biblical text which states the dogmatic Christian belief about the impossibility of any human knowledge in relation to the divine power has been metamorphosed into its most evocative and poetic aspect by artists Draga Obradovic and Aurel K. Basedow.

Delving deep into the substantial theme, the mirror and enigma elements refer to the fact that their work is in a perennially split state – a scission in which its simultaneous nature as furnishing object and artwork is revealed. The artists powerfully supplement the ordinary use of each of their products which result in amplification of the reflections caused by the resin surfaces, which, appearing as thick glassy petrifications with sidereal nuances, rest on slender iron or bronze structures or even incorporate cement concretions themselves. Aurel recently decided to broaden their structural formal and productive gestation, the aesthetic boundaries of which he chooses to push beyond the paradigm of functionality, creating a series of paintings resembling solid translucent totems, sometimes containing fabric patterns and at other times photographic images.

Draga and Aurel have thereby conceived of a hybrid itinerary that thoroughly exhibits the results of their artistic production for Contemporary Cluster. Enunciating the rhythmic musical score with the same notes but also slurs, accents, and rests – they intentionally modulate ‘cathedral-like’ environments. Visitors also can experience the unique pieces hallmarked by multiple elements – an alternating rhythm of different elements: tubular lights, monochrome altarpieces or chairs, placed to emphasise spatial symmetry or disclose eclectic multicoloured clusters, in which the large ‘canvases’ create a counterpoint with a series of punctiform tables.

Finally, the last space, adorned with Aurel’s artworks, provokes a moment of intimacy with its viewers. The artist draws inspiration from “rest”, in which he focuses on inner themes, closely related to the current pandemic status; the concepts of fear or constraint are transferred and imprinted onto a set of papers where watery, continuous, and very decisive magmatic brush strokes unhesitatingly camouflage the peculiar aspects of photographic images, all selected from the artist’s personal archive.

Per Speculum In Aenigmate is open to visitors from 26th February – 13th March from 11 AM to 9 PM at Contemporary Cluster, Palazzo Brancaccio, Via Merulana 248, Rome. 

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