Against the backdrop of recent rising extremism, this exhibition explores the complexities of Islam through art that transcends its religious notions. “Islam is unusual in that it’s the only one of the great world religions which was born inside recorded history,” Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses, pointed out in an interview with PBS. This makes for a very rich supply of associated work. Thirty objects from the RISD Museum’s collection, including some that have never before been shown, celebrate the breadth of Islamic expression, from a 12th-century Egyptian textile to a design by the late Tunisian couturier Azzedine Alaïa. —J.V.
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