Per Speculum in Aenigmate, between furnishings and works of art. From 25 February to 13 March 2022. Palazzo Brancaccio, Via Merulana 248, Rome

"Videmus nunc per speculum et in aenigmate, tunc autem facie ad faciem (Now we see things through a mirror, by enigmas, but one day we will see them face to face)". The title of the exhibition, Per Speculum in Aenigmate, takes up a passage (13:12) from the First Letter to the Corinthians by Paul of Tarsus, a biblical text on which the Christian faith is based regarding the impossibility of any human knowledge with respect to the divine. Draga Obradovic and Aurel K. Basedow go further, and transform it into a more intimate, evocative, poetic moment.

Draga & Aurel are known for the reinvention of bespoke vintage design pieces. The debut at the Salone del Mobile in 2009 consecrated the duo on the international scene, which was followed by collaborations with important realities including Baxter, Wall & Decò, Anthropologie, Visionnaire, Essential Home / DelightFULL. In parallel, they develop personal Art Design projects, including the Heritage and Transparency Matters collections designed and produced by hand in the Como atelier.

Mirror and enigma refer to their artifacts that reveal the natural mix between a piece of furniture and a work of art. So design, but also art. A contamination that amplifies the perception of each of their pieces through the reflections of resin surfaces lying on iron or bronze structures or englobed by cement concretions. Aurel broadens its aesthetic boundaries, pushing beyond functionality and creating a cycle of pictorial works that contain textures of fabrics or photographic images.

For Contemporary Cluster, Draga & Aurel create a hybrid path in which environments marked by the alternation of elements such as tubular lights, monochrome blades, seats placed to highlight spatial symmetries or open polychrome agglomerates in which the large canvases enter in counterpoint with a series of point tables.

The last room houses Aurel's only artistic work. An intimate moment, a pause in which the artist focuses on some inner themes connected to the pandemic with which we have been living for a couple of years: the concepts of fear or constraint are imprinted on a series of cards where the brushstrokes camouflage the aspects peculiar to photographic images, selected from the artist's personal archive.

Per Speculum in Aenigmate is a project by Contemporary Cluster which, for the first time, at Palazzo Brancaccio puts the new body of paintings by Aurel K. Basedow in dialogue with some of the iconic design pieces by the duo Draga & Aurel, of which Aurel itself is part.