Arghavan Khosravi

November 18, 2023 - May 5, 2024

Ilgenfritz Gallery

Born and raised in Iran, Arghavan Khosravi came to the United States in 2015 to pursue her MFA in painting at RISD. Combining aspects of Surrealism and Persian miniature painting, Khosravi creates evocative works of art that interrogate ideas of freedom, agency, and identity. At the core of these issues is the role of women in both Iranian and American society. 

In Iran, Khosravi lived what she calls a “double life”– a public existence that adhered to Islamic laws and a private one that was more free. Raised in a non-religious family during the first decade after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Khosravi experienced the “dominance of the oppressive regime” in her daily life including being arrested as a young woman while walking down the street in Tehran because her hijab did not cover enough of her body. While the United States offered new freedoms, she found herself, as an immigrant, directly affected by the American Muslim ban in 2017. 

In 2019, the Newport Art Museum included Khosravi’s work in “The Shapes of Birds: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa,” her first museum show following her graduation from RISD. The Museum is honored to present Khosravi’s solo exhibition, which features a painting from the Museum’s collection along with new works by the artist that blend elements of painting and sculpture. Through powerful imagery and symbolism, Khosravi’s evocative works encourage viewers to consider the role and rights of people – particularly women – in the United States and beyond.


Prior to her MFA at RISD, Arghavan Khosravi earned a BFA in graphic design from Tehran Azad University and an MFA in Illustration from the University of Tehran. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally in solo exhibitions at Koenig Gallery (Berlin); Stems Gallery (Brussels); Kavi Gupta Gallery (IL); Carl Kostyal (London); M+B Gallery (CA); Rachel Uffner Gallery (NY); Currier Museum of Art (NH); and the Rose Art Museum (MA) among others. Recent group exhibitions include “Uncombed, Unforeseen, Unconstrained,” an official collateral exhibition of the 59th Venice Biennale, as well as exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Yinchuan) and Orlando Museum of Art (FL). Khosravi’s work is in the collections of The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum; RISD Museum; Newport Art Museum (RI); Currier Museum of Art (NH); and the Rose Art Museum (MA). She has had residencies at The Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown (MA); Studios at MassMoCA; Monson Arts (ME); and Residency Unlimited (NY). She is a 2019 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Painters & Sculptors Grant and a 2017 recipient of the Walter Feldman Fellowship

Exhibition Resources

Explore exhibition content more deeply through articles, books, films, glossaries, and more, compiled to encourage dialogue and learning.