Geometric Aljamía

A Cultural Transliteration

2022 Exhibit Dates
Oct 25 To Dec 02

Closed November 23 – 28

Since ancient times, geometric perfection (circle, square, and triangle) has been thought to convey sacred and secular truths by reflecting the fractal interconnections of the natural world. The artists in Geometric Aljamía: a Cultural Transliteration explore geometry as a fundamental aspect of art and as a way to communicate universal ideas across cultures. Aljamía is a medieval Spanish word that refers to Romance languages written in Arabic script. This transliteration contributed to the dissemination of the Arabic language and Islamic influences throughout the Iberian Peninsula and beyond. By understanding the arts as a transliteration of one form of thinking to another and addressing the fundamental patterns embedded in visual art, Geometric Aljamía revisits the ongoing impact of Islamic art, science, and philosophy throughout the world today.

The papercut installations use sacred geometry to blend subtle imperfection with structured repetition. Wall tracings and motifs are inspired by Islamic tilework, Koran Illumination Tehzip patterns in the Ottoman style, or Islamic miniatures attributed to the Behzad School of Illumination. In the drawings, linear perspective is employed as a metaphor for Western Civilization. The shared artistic and intellectual interests of these six artists speak to the larger hybrid relationship that the West shares with the Middle East, and especially with the Golden Age of Islamic Civilization.

  • Jorge Benitez
  • Reni Gower
  • Julia Townsend
  • and others

Virtual Exhibit