"American Qur'an: The holy book of Islam, interpreted by an American artist" by Bob Keefer
The traditional holy book of Islam has been defaced, burned, defecated on and denounced in the decade and a half that’s followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by Islamic extremists on New York and Washington.
A new exhibition opening Friday and running through March 19 at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art presents a very different American reaction to the Qur’an.
In American Qur’an, the museum’s spacious main gallery will be full to bursting with the scores of original paintings that make up Los Angeles painter and lifelong surfer Sandow Birk’s reflection on the Qur’an.
The artist created his own illuminated manuscript version of the entire Qur’an, mixing scenes of contemporary American life with the 114 suras, or chapters, of the 1,400-year-old sacred text in English translation. The work took him nine full years and resulted in a 427-page coffee-table book that’s been published by a division of W.W. Norton & Co.
“I’ve been following this project for years,” says Jill Hartz, the Schnitzer’s executive director. “We are the second museum — and the first academic museum — to show it.”
The exhibition originated in 2015 at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California.
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Eugene Weekly, January 17, 2017