Gergei Erdei’s Folding Screen Series Mines Ancient Art for Inspiration

Drawing from Greco-Roman iconography.

Design
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Gergei Erdei got his start as a womenswear designer for Gucci under Alessandro Michele, eventually shifting his focus to embroidery and illustration. While the multidisciplinary designer has applied those skills to adorn pieces for the fashion house, his new series – an assortment of six folding screens – is something of a collaboration with those 2,000 or so years before his time.

For the “Objects of Desire” series, Erdei drew from ancient artistic influences. The screens feature imagery of Greek and Roman deities, as well as Egyptian illustration styles. Recreating the iconography in his own vision, he interplays the traditional and the surrealist.

Each screen was handmade in Hungary before being painted by Erdei in his London studio. One screen called “The Hunters Screen” is the artist’s rendition of the crumbling murals of Pompei, while the “Barbier” screen recreates George Barbier’s cover art for the “The Songs of Bilitis,” a collection of erotic poetry translated from ancient Greek.

“Since ancient times, humans have adorned walls with art, from cave paintings to modern frescoes. I found it fascinating we continue this tradition with our walls, prompting me to reflect,” Erdei said. “The screens stand impressively tall at 2.3 meters (7.5 feet), acting as a highly decorative partition between the owner and the outside world. They present a plain facade on one side but immerse you into an illustrated universe on the other.”

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