ABRAHAM אברהם إبراهيم
Out of One, Many
A timely artistic exploration on living harmoniously, inspired by Abraham,
the common ancestor of three celebrated contemporary artists of Middle Eastern heritage
from Muslim, Christian, and Jewish traditions.
Today’s climate of increasing prejudice and stereotyping, which has resulted in the rise of tribalism, populist nationalism, Antisemitism and continuing Anti-Muslim sentiment, needs to be counteracted by creative initiatives that are based on what we all hold in common.
It is in this context that Abraham’s life, a spiritual figure of distinct significance within the three primary monotheistic faith traditions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, has much to teach us about welcoming and embracing the “other.” In these three faith traditions, whose followers are referred to a “children of Abraham,” the figure of Abraham is seen as a model of hospitality – of welcoming the “stranger” and embracing the "other."
This timely exhibition, titled "ABRAHAM: Out of One, Many" (playing off of the Latin motto "E pluribus unum" / "Out of many, one"), focuses on what we can learn from Abraham's story about living together more harmoniously. For this exhibition, three celebrated Middle Eastern contemporary visual artists from the faith traditions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism have each created five paintings that interpret Abraham’s life and faith journey for us today, serving as a guide toward creating cultures of peace, harmony, justice and healing – all as descendants of a shared heritage.
What can Abraham teach us today toward freeing our world from sectarian strife? That is the question this strategic exhibition attempts to answer.
The exhibition premiered in Rome, Italy at St. Paul’s Within the Walls from May 3-June 9, 2019, and was then showcased in Paris, France and Edinburgh, Scotland over the summer of 2019. In the fall of 2019 the exhibition began touring the USA for 20 months, through mid-2021.