Works by Iranian modernists on display NYUAD Art Gallery

December 12, 2021 - 18:1

TEHRAN – Works by Iranian modernists created during the 1960s and 1970s are on display in an exhibition at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.

Entitled “Modernisms”, the exhibit is organized with Iranian as well as Turkish and Indian highlights from New York University’s Abby Weed Grey Collection, the organizers have announced.

One of the Iranian artworks is a bronze sculpture from Parviz Tanavoli’s Heech series.

“Mosques of Isfahan”, an ink, watercolor, and gold and silver paint on paper by Faramarz Pilaram, is another Iranian artwork selected for the exhibition, which will be running until February 5, 2022.

Another Iranian highlight is “Flowers”, an oil painting on canvas by Monir Farmanfarmaian.

Abby Weed Grey, a North American collector, made multiple trips abroad in the 1960s and early 1970s, to explore and collect modern art from across Asia. 

She made eight trips to Iran, and four trips each to India and Turkey, where she bought the prints, drawings, paintings and sculptures that set up the nucleus of her collection of modern Asian art, housed at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.

The exhibition also showcases the collector’s personal letters, journals, invoices, catalogs, invitations and photographs from the Abby Weed Grey Papers in the NYU Archives. 

The archives illustrate how these artists drew on their specific heritages while also engaging in global discourses around key issues of modernity.

This is the first physical exhibition in the gallery since it moved to virtual programs in the spring of 2020, the organizers have announced.

“We are excited to welcome the local community back to The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery with an exhibition of such historical significance and regional relevance,” said Maya Allison, chief curator at NYU Abu Dhabi and Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery. 

“Abby Weed Grey’s goal was to promote international artistic exchange in an academic setting,” she stated and added, “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 brings to us.”

“Modernisms” was first organized in New York City in 2019, and then traveled to the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in the U.S. before making its way to the UAE.

Photo: “Mosques of Isfahan” by Faramarz Pilaram is one of the Iranian artworks on view in “Modernisms” at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.


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