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LAST CHANCE Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Grey Collection
The NYUAD Art Gallery reopens IRL with an exhibition drawn from NYU’s Abby Weed Grey Collection. Ms Grey was a North American collector who made multiple trips across Asia in the 1960s and early 1970s (eight to Iran and four each to India and Turkey) where she acquired the prints, drawings, paintings, and sculptures that came to form the nucleus of the eponymous collection housed at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery. Maya Allison, Chief Curator and Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery, said: “Abby Weed Grey’s goal was to promote international artistic exchange in an academic setting, and her mission unwittingly foreshadowed our own mission here at NYU Abu Dhabi, 35 years later. NYU’s Abby Weed Grey Collection is a great example of how the act of collecting today becomes part of future art histories, and can make possible true cultural dialogue, through the stories that each of these artworks bring to us.”
The NYUAD Art Gallery has previously hosted Grey Art Gallery’s Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965. That exhibition was a notable success, and we have high hopes for this show – not least because it’s based on a significant regional collection. The Grey Art Gallery has the largest institutional holdings of modern Iranian art outside Iran; the largest known institutional collection of modern Turkish art outside Turkey; and some 80 works of modern Indian art. Modernisms inclides some big names among the 15 or so works on show, among them Monir Farmanfarmaian, Parviz Tanavoli, Fahrelnissa Zeid, and MFHusain; it also includes personal letters, journals, photographs and other memorabilia from the Abby Weed Grey Papers in the NYU Archives which show how these artists drew on their specific heritages while also engaging in global discourses around key issues of modernity.
Above: Prabhakar Barwe, King and Queen of Spades (1967)