NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery reopens with unrivaled collection of 1960s India, Turkey and Iran art

  • The public can visit in person from November 15 for the first time since the pandemic, to find out Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Gray collection
  • With iconic paintings and sculptures from the 1960s, the exhibition challenges modern art narratives centered on the West

Abu Dhabi: NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery, the University’s academic gallery-museum, reopens to the public on Monday, November 15, with the exhibition Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Gray Collection. This will be the first physical exhibition in the gallery since it switched to virtual programs in the spring of 2020, and it will remain open to the public until February 5, 2022.

Abby Weed Gray was a North American collector who made several trips abroad in the 1960s and early 1970s to explore and collect modern art from all over Asia. She made eight trips to Iran and four trips each to India and Turkey, where she acquired the prints, drawings, paintings and sculptures that became the core of the Abby Weed Gray collection of modern art from Asia and the Middle -Orient, hosted at Gray Art Gallery at New York University.

The essays in the accompanying book allow the viewer to understand how artists of various nationalities merged local traditions with the global trends of the rapidly changing modern world of the 1960s. The collection thus contributes to the ongoing dialogues that help expand the canons of modern art beyond the traditional areas of North America and Europe.

NYU Abu Dhabi Chief Curator and NYUAD Art Gallery Executive Director Maya Allison said: “We are delighted to welcome the local community back to the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery with an exhibition of such historical significance and regional relevance. Abby Weed Gray’s goal was to promote international artistic exchange in an academic setting, and her mission unwittingly foreshadowed our own mission here in NYU Abu Dhabi, 35 years later. NYU’s Abby Weed Gray Collection is a prime example of how the act of collecting today is part of future art stories and can make true cultural dialogue possible, through the stories that each of these works of art brings us.

Modernisms opened in New York in 2019 and visited the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in the United States before traveling to the United Arab Emirates. Modernisms is the second collaboration between NYUAD Art Gallery and NYU’s Gray Art Gallery. Lynn Gumpert, Director of the Gray Art Gallery and Curator of Modernisms note: “We are delighted that Modernisms will be on display at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, which also hosted our acclaimed exhibition Inventing the Downtown District: Artist-Run Galleries in New York, 1952–19965 in 2017. The time seems to have come to re-examine Ms. Grey’s pioneering efforts in cultural exchange.

The Gray Art Gallery has the largest institutional collection of modern Iranian art outside of Iran; the largest known institutional collection of modern Turkish art outside of Turkey; and some 80 works of modern Indian art. The Abby Weed Gray collection includes some of the most important modern artists of this period and these regions. She embarked on her mission to collect contemporary art from non-Western artists in 1960, which resulted in a collection whose importance became evident as scholarship around these artists grew.

For more information, please visit www.nyuad-artgallery.org/

Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Gray Collection is curated by the Gray Art Gallery, New York University, and is made possible in part through the generous support of Dalinc and Mehves Ariburnu; Violet Jabara Charitable Trust; WLS Spencer Foundation; A. Alfred Taubman Foundation; Avid Modjtabai; Charina Endowment Fund; Persian Heritage Foundation; Vazifdar Builders Pvt. Ltd. ; Ariel and Alaleh Ostad; Gray’s Circle of Directors, Inter / National Council and Friends; and the Abby Weed Gray Trust. In-kind support is provided by ArtCareNYC Inc.

Title of the exhibition: Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Gray collection
Exhibition dates: November 15 – February 5, 2022
Admission: Free – By appointment only (tickets will be available from Wednesday October 27)


Link to the page: https://www.nyuad-artgallery.org/en_US/our-exhibitions/main-gallery/modernisms

About NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
Founded in 2014, the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery is the first and only university gallery in the Gulf to offer a program of scientific and experimental museum exhibitions. The program seeks to map new territories and ideas by presenting exhibitions by internationally renowned artists, curators and academics in its main space. Its ancillary venue, Project Space, is an exhibition laboratory for the university community, as well as for emerging artists and curators. Located in NYU Abu Dhabi, which has a community of over 115 countries, The Art Gallery runs free public programs and guided tours in conjunction with its groundbreaking exhibitions. It also produces scholarly publications, which are an integral part of its curatorial framework and reflect its academic mission. Together with the Gallery’s reading room, these welcoming and intimate spaces open up artistic opportunities and initiate regional and international dialogue.

About the Gray Art Gallery
The Gray Art Gallery, the museum of fine arts at New York University, enables and encourages transformative encounters with works of art. Tackling difficult problems in the study of material culture, the Gray serves as a museum-laboratory, sparking interdisciplinary scholarships. Uniquely positioned to cultivate visual literacy and critical thinking, Gray shares NYU’s foundational commitment as a global research university to advance knowledge of different cultures, contexts and histories through time. The Gray also promotes experiential learning through its collections and participates in the cultural, intellectual and environmental spheres of NYU’s global network, New York City and the world at large. In 2025, the Gray will celebrate its 50th anniversary.

About NYU Abu Dhabi
NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated overseas by a major US research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective liberal arts, engineering and science program with a global center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and to advance knowledge. cooperation and progress on common challenges of humanity. NYU Abu Dhabi’s top performing students come from 115 countries and speak more than 115 languages. Together, NYU’s New York, Abu Dhabi and Shanghai campuses form the backbone of a unique global university, providing faculty and students with opportunities to experience diverse learning environments and immersion in other cultures. at one or more of the many study abroad sites that NYU maintains on six continents.

© Press release 2021

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