Henri Abraham Univers - EMERGEAST
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Henri Abraham Univers
b. 1974, France / Ivory Coast

Henri Abraham Univers is a contemporary artist, born in Paris, into a mixed heritage family (Burkina Faso - France). Having grown up, in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, from an early stage in his life he was surrounded by a multicultural environment that subsequently directly influenced his paintings. 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. 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. Henri Abraham Univers is an artist whose miscegenation is as much cultural as graphic.

Henri Abraham Univers’s paintings are distinguished by cosmological themes and a selection of repeated elements, such as sprinkles of white stars and dots against a black background, to symbolize 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.

Away from trends, and external injunctions that come and go, he argues, it is better to be driven by internal sets of moral values. "I was lucky; I have a father who taught me enduring moral values." These principles have enabled him to navigate and adjust to the multicultural environment of his childhood, between two continents, Africa and Europe. Henri Abraham Univers has kept these values and blended them with his worldview, a relentless and unapologetic yearning for love. "That's all I am interested in."

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. He is equally concerned with fusing Western and African influences. The artworks of Henri Abraham Univers are in private collections in Europe, Africa and the United States.

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International exhibitions
Art fair participant
Biennale participant


Selected Exhibitions

2020 1:54 Art Fair, Online edition (Artsy), New York, USA
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
2018 ARTcaf 2018, Hôte Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2018 ArtX Lagos 2018, Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria
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
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
2015 Biennale Galila 2015, Fontenay sous Bois, France
2014 Summer Exhibition 2014, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK