Negar Ahkami was born in the United States in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1971, and raised in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City. She attended the Art Students League of New York and received her BA in Middle Eastern languages and cultures from Columbia University. After studying law at Georgetown University and briefly practicing in her twenties, she went on to pursue her MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 2006.
She has participated in various artist residencies throughout the US, including at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency and its Governors Island Residency, the Jentel Foundation and the Arlington Arts Center, where she is currently in a long-term artist residency.
Ahkami has held three solo exhibitions in New York – at the Leila Heller Gallery in Manhattan and LMAK Projects in Williamsburg – as well as a two-person show at Miki Wick Kim Contemporary Art in Zurich, Switzerland. She also participated in two solo exhibitions in 2018 in the Washington, D.C., area, at the Arlington Arts Center and Marymount University’s Cody Gallery. Her work is currently included in The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art (2018), organised by and originating at the Crystal Bridges Museum of Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and travelling throughout 2019 to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh and the New Britain Museum of American Art in Connecticut.
Her work has been included in group exhibitions in the US, at the William Benton Museum of Art, the Chelsea Art Museum, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Queens Museum, Rutgers University, Princeton University, Stux Gallery, Kravets Wehby Gallery and Marvelli Gallery, amongst others. It is also included in national and international public, corporate and private art collections, such as those of the New Britain Museum of American Art, the DePaul Art Museum and Wellington Management in the US, as well as the Farjam Collection and the Mahmoud Afkhami Collection in the United Arab Emirates.