Searching for the Divine in Contemporary Islamic Art, an exhibition of paintings by newly juried Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association member Ahmed Ansari, will be on display in TAG (Gallery 311) at the Torpedo Factory Art Center from May 26 – June 18.

Apprehension and misunderstandings abound when discussing Islam and Muslims. This exhibit extols the beauty and simplicity of some of the basic tenets of the Quran and names of God rendered in traditional Islamic calligraphy interpreted in abstract forms. The paintings are meant to break away from a single audience of fellow Muslims and reach across the divide to a shared appreciation of the Divine. The timing of this exhibit is fitting given that May 27, 2017 marks the first day of Ramadan, a month of fasting and spiritual pursuits amongst all Muslims worldwide.

Ansari was born and raised in Mumbai, India. While in college, he worked with textile, jewelry, and commercial design, including Arabic calligraphy. Ansari’s career as a graphic designer and art director led him to positions in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. In 1990, he immigrated to the United States to work for an international advertising agency in Boulder, Colorado. For more than 30 years, Ansari’s commercial work focused on digital media and web design. In the last few years he has focused his attention on his life-long love of Arabic calligraphy and fine art painting. Ansari currently resides in Chantilly, Virginia, and was juried into the Torpedo Factory Artists’ Association in April 2017.

Searching for the Divine in Contemporary Islamic Art will be in Gallery 311 at the Torpedo Factory Art Center from May 26 – June 19. There will be an opening reception on June 8 from 6:30 – 9:00 pm.


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