Henri Abraham Univers
Henri Abraham Univers is a contemporary artist, born in Paris into a mixed heritage family.
Henri Abraham Univers is a contemporary artist, born in Paris into a mixed heritage family (French mother and Burkinabé father).
Having grown up between Abidjan, Ivory Coast and France, from an early stage in his life he was surrounded by a multicultural environment that subsequently directly influenced his paintings.
Henri is an artist whose miscegenation is as much cultural as graphic. “I’m still trying to get a message across my artworks. I express a reality, and this is where I have more affinity with the warm and vibrant side of Africa.” - Henri Abraham Univers.
Graduate from CLCF (Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français) in Paris, he was ultimately taken over by his love for painting – A medium through which he quickly realized was easier for him to express himself with the use of canvas and a paintbrush – It was the most natural and instinctive way of being, much more so than while working in film.
Away from trends, and external injunctions that come and go, he argues, it is better to be driven by internal sets of moral values. Henri Abraham Univers’s paintings are distinguished by cosmological themes and a selection of repeated elements, such as sprinkles of white stars against a black background, to symbolizes the sky, which he says is ever present regardless of what is happening in the world, and references to love and the oneness of humanity.
Each work illustrates different spiritual concepts, sometimes directly inscribed with the words in French and English. Artist believes strongly in numerous mantras, unity and equality being the most prominent. He is equally concerned with fusing Western and African influences.
These principles have enabled him to navigate and adjust to the multicultural environment of his childhood. He has kept these values and blended them with his worldview, a relentless and unapologetic yearning for love. "That's all I am interested in." - Henri Abraham Univers.
His calls for love, unity, and peace, have morphed into recurring symbols, deftly encrypted in each of his artworks: a constellation of little stars, a spider weaving a web of love, alongside a series of annotations, time is love, "no races only men", 1+1=1 and a crossed- out text "time is money." These beliefs, foundational to his art-making, have set him on a collision course with our modern societies driven by materialistic gain.
After a stint in New York, then Ouagadougou and Paris, he moved to London in 2010. He devoted himself to his passion full-time in 2013.
In 2014, he had the privilege and honor of having been selected to exhibit at the prestigious Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
The artworks of Henri Abraham Univers are in private collections in Europe, Africa and United States.
Exhibitions / Art Residencies
2014 Summer Exhibition 2014, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK.
2015 Biennale Galila 2015, Fontenay sous Bois, France.
2016 Festival International d’Art Contemporain La Selva de l’Art, Selva de Mar, Spain. 2016 Art Residency ARKANE, Casablanca, Morocco.
2016 ART’COP22, COP 22, Marrakech, Morocco.
2017 Contemporary African Spirituality, Calabar Gallery, New York, USA.
2017 Reminiscences, Galerie Sonia Monti, Paris, France.
2017 Afirika Savoies, Quais des Arts, Musée des Beaux Arts, Chambéry, France.
2018 ARTcaf 2018, Hôte Gallery, Brussels, Belgium.
2018 ArtX Lagos 2018, Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
2019 Masters & Contemporaries, Retro Africa, Abuja, Nigeria.
2019 1:54 Art Fair, Industria, Manhattan, New York, USA.
2019 ArtX Lagos 2019, The Federal Palace, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
2020 1:54 Art Fair, Online edition on Artsy, New York, USA 2020 D-Contemporary, Group Exhibition, Mayfair, London, UK.
2021 Time is Love, Group Exhibition, OOA Gallery, Sitges/Barcelona, Spain.