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.
May 2019 - November 2021
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"), focused on what we can learn from Abraham's story about living together more harmoniously. For the exhibition, three celebrated Middle Eastern contemporary visual artists from the faith traditions of Islam, Christianity and Judaism each created five paintings that interpret Abraham’s life 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 attempted to answer.
The exhibition premiered in Rome, Italy at St. Paul’s Within the Walls in May/June 2019, and was then showcased in Paris, France and Edinburgh, Scotland, before beginning its USA tour to Omaha, NE, Boston, MA, Jacksonville, FL, Houston, TX, Laramie, Lander and Rock Springs, WY and Hartford, CT, ending in November 2021.