ColumbiaDC would like to invite you to the opening reception of Fantasy Will Set You Free at Arlington Arts Center, an art exhibition by artist Negar Ahkami, CC' 92. Negar Ahkami’s expressive, tactile paintings are inspired by Iranian art, and by global visual traditions that intersect with Iran’s rich art history. Ahkami’s emphasis on rhythm and viscerality is inspired by NYC street art of the 1980s and German expressionism.
The imagined dancers in Fantasy Will Set You Free invoke dance floors of the artist’s youth: in New York City night clubs, and at parties organized by Ahkami’s parents for the growing Iranian immigrant community in the 1980s and 1990s. In placing Iranian art and humanity in a broader, joyful context, and in her piece After Winter Must Come Spring --in part magic carpet, in part interactive dance floor-- Ahkami is continuing her longtime engagement with Orientalism and stereotype subversion. Above all, Fantasy Will Set You Free is an impassioned escape from depressing news, for the viewer as well as the artist. Ahkami relives the spirit of the dance floor in her studio practice, by getting lost in spontaneous gestures, flamboyant poses, and a riot of rhythmic patterns.
Also on view on the Main and Lower Levels, AAC is pleased to present Spring SOLOS 2018, featuring artwork by Sean Derry, Adam Griffiths, Phaan Howng, Giulia Piera Livi, Nick Primo, and Jerry Truong. AAC’s long-running SOLOS exhibition program gives contemporary artists from the Mid-Atlantic region the opportunity to present solo projects in one of AAC’s seven gallery spaces. The contemporary artists included in Spring SOLOS 2018 were selected through a competitive open call juried by Kate Haw, Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art, and Mika Yoshitake, Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Exhibition continues through June 2.