On the façades of bank towers, in boutiques, gyms and lobbies, in our homes and on our smartphones – everywhere you look, there are mirrored surfaces. Why are reflective materials so tremendously popular these days?

How are mirror effects used in design, and how does art reflect on them? And what is the impact of the omnipresent experience of mirrors on us human beings? The exhibition SUR/FACE: Mirrors focuses on the phenomenon of the mirrored surface in art, design and architecture of the present. On 1,200 square metres of floor space, the show features products by such designers as Ron Arad, Ettore Sottsass and Oskar Zieta and artworks by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Isa Genzken, Andy Warhol and many others. More than a hundred objects made of mirrored glass, highly polished metal or reflective plastic attract the viewer’s gaze, steer it, occasionally confound it, and offer it new perspectives.

In the characteristic architecture of the Richard Meier building with its views of the bank towers making up the Frankfurt skyline, the exhibition stages two spacious, abstract domestic situations reminiscent of lofts or temporary residences. In these settings, reflective design objects and furniture form different interiors based on everyday lifeworlds. The viewers thus encounter rooms of everyday “mirror moments” both familiar and somehow different: from the public setting of a mirrored lobby the route leads through rooms of a more private nature such as the living and dining room and into the bedroom and bathroom as the most intimate domestic zones. Artworks, most of them mirrored themselves, enter into relationships with the interiors and reflect on the subject of reflection.

The publication accompanying the exhibition delves into the mirrored surface against the backgrounds of design theory, psychoanalysis and the history of art and culture. It consolidates the curatorial team’s thoughts and research on the subject of the mirror.