In 1935, Reza Shah—the Shah of Iran—asked the international community to stop referring to the country of Iran as “Persia.” The change resulted in some backlash; there are a number of ancient cultures that make up Iran, and the Persians preferred to be called “Persian.” This exhibition, the collection of the financier and philanthropist Mohammed Afkhami, sheds light on what it means to be Iranian today. Of its 22 Iranian-born artists, a third live abroad, a third live in Iran, and five live in New York City. The works examine themes of war and peace, politics and religion, and gender identity. —E.C.
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