Works by Iranian Modernists on display at NYUAD Art Gallery


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

Entitled “Modernisms,” the exhibition is curated with Iranian, Turkish and Indian masterpieces from New York University’s Abby Weed Gray collection, organizers said.

One of the Iranian works of art is a bronze sculpture from the Heech series by Parviz Tanavoli.

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

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

Abby Weed Gray, a North American collector, made several trips abroad in the 1960s and early 1970s, exploring and collecting modern art from across Asia.

She made eight trips to Iran and four trips each to India and Turkey, where she purchased the prints, drawings, paintings and sculptures that form the core of her collection of modern Asian art, housed at the Gray Art Gallery of the ‘New York University.

The exhibit also features the collector’s personal letters, journals, invoices, catalogs, invitations, and photographs from the Abby Weed Gray Papers in the NYU Archives.

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

This is the first physical exhibition in the gallery since it switched to virtual programs in the spring of 2020, organizers said.

“We are delighted to welcome the local community back to the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery with an exhibition of such historic significance and regional relevance,” said Maya Allison, Chief Curator at NYU Abu Dhabi and executive director of the NYUAD Art Gallery.

“Abby Weed Gray’s goal was to promote international artistic exchange in an academic setting,” she said and added, “NYU’s Abby Weed Gray collection is a prime example of how the the act of collecting today is part of future art histories and can make possible true cultural dialogue, through the stories that each of these works brings to us.

“Modernisms” was first organized in New York in 2019, then traveled to the Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in the United States before traveling to the United Arab Emirates.

Photo: “Isfahan Mosques” by Faramarz Pilaram is one of the Iranian works of art exhibited in “Modernisms” at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.



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