Crystal Bridges Event Calendar

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art offers a wide range of activities for all ages and interests.
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Gallery Conversation » The Beyond Artist Negar Ahkami

Join artist Negar Ahkami for a conversation on her artwork in the temporary exhibition The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe & Contemporary Art.

Space is limited; please arrive 5 to 10 minutes early.

The Gallery Conversation is free, but a ticket to the exhibition is required: $10 (Free for members and youth ages 18 and under), available at Guest Services or 


Negar Ahkami

Negar Ahkami’s paintings are colorful collisions of influence and critique that she refers to as “an aesthetic of contradiction.”[i] She incorporates Persian architecture and design into her paintings as a proxy for Iranian culture alongside a stylized cartoon aesthetic. Growing up in the U.S., she was acutely aware of her identity as an American, but one who was constantly defending her Iranian heritage.[ii] While her fusion of styles underscores her own sense of cultural hybridity, the work reflects Ahkami’s idea that Iran is presented in American media as a “cartoon” of its real self.

In The Source, a Persian mosaic pattern occupies the background of the composition. Overlaid on this design, a building emerges from a sweep of rushing water. The once-stately Persian structure appears to collapse into a heap of vaguely recognizable architectural detail, signaling the steady meltdown of Western perceptions of Iran, but also functioning as a dual criticism of the brutal rule of the theocratic Iranian government led by Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and its effects on its people and culture.



July 21, 2018
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Categories:
Temporary Exhibition Gallery