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Modernisms - Exhibition Press

Media coverage of the exhibition Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Grey Collection running at The Block Museum of Art January 21, 2020 to April 5, 2020.

New City
Over the past decade, the Art Institute of Chicago has shown two twentieth-century artists from India, Rabindranath Tagore and M.F. Hussain (who also has a piece on view here). Modern art from Iran and Turkey has yet to appear. Perhaps this show is a step in that direction.”
Chris Miller, March 13, 2020
Chicago Tribune
Visitors to the galleries of most American museums could be forgiven for thinking that modernism happened in the United States and Western Europe and hardly anywhere else. Paris! New York! Berlin! It’s a stubbornly narrow viewpoint that has recently begun to broaden. Yale announced in January that its traditional undergraduate art history survey class will be replaced by a handful of globally oriented thematic courses; a few months earlier, the newly expanded MoMA reopened with a more diverse hanging of art than ever before. In Chicago right now, the Block Museum is leading the charge with “Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish, and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Grey Collection,” on view through April.”
Lori Waxman, February 25, 2020
Forbes
Now is an exciting time for art lovers. Art history is being rewritten before our eyes. It is being rewritten in a broader, richer, more complete fashion which not only includes a greater diversity of creators, but a greater diversity of work.”
Chadd Scott, February 12, 2020
North by Northwestern
Two striking paintings from Parviz Tanavoli’s Last Poet of Iran series greet you as you enter the gallery and its Iranian section. It’s hard to look at the colorful, uncomplicated sequences of figures and not see a bit of Basquiat, but then you look at the placard and remember that the paintings are from 1962. Leave your Western art history at the door.”
Justin Curto, January 30, 2020
Art Daily
Modernisms” participates in ongoing discourse seeking to critically reexamine the canon of modern art, including projects such as the recently renovated galleries of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, with their expanded presentation of works created by artists from around the globe.”
January 23, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times
The new exhibit “Modernisms: Iranian, Turkish and Indian Highlights from NYU’s Abby Weed Grey Collection” is a survey of art from three nations where vibrant forms of modernism were created in the 1960s and 1970s. The 114 colorful and intriguing works range from Iranian and Turkish artists who explore calligraphy and ornamentation through avant-garde abstraction to Indian painters whose expressive canvases draw upon Hindu iconography.”
Mary Houlihan, January 15, 2020
Daily Northwestern
“When you look at Abby Weed Grey’s collection and her interests, you can’t separate it from her identity as an American,” Berzock said. “While this is a collection that comes from NYU and was created by a particular woman with a particular perspective, we are very interested in foregrounding the perspectives and experiences of the artists themselves.””
Yunkyo Kim,, January 15, 2020
NewCity
This wide-ranging survey helps correct West-centric art historical records by focusing on the exciting innovations coming out of three nations in the 1960s and 1970s.”
Kerry Cardoza, January 7, 2020
Chicago Tribune
The Block continues its expansion of what we think we know about modern art with this selection of 114 paintings, prints and sculptures bought during the 1960s and 70s by Abby Weed Grey, a widowed Midwestern army-wife-turned-globetrotting art lover. In her ability to look beyond Eurocentric art discourses, Grey, like the artists she collected, proved herself to be ahead of her time. ”
Lori Waxman, January 2, 2020
India Post
The exhibition marks the first time that selections from its Iranian, Turkish and Indian modern art holdings that will be presented together in a cross-cultural study. In doing so, “Modernisms” will shed new light on how artists of the period created works that drew on their specific heritages while also engaging in global discourses.”
December 13, 2019
News India Times
This is the first time that selections from its Iranian, Turkish and Indian modern art holdings have been presented together in a cross-cultural study. In doing so, Modernisms sheds new light on how artists of the period created works that drew on their specific heritages while also engaging in global discourses.”
December 23, 2019
Chicago Hotels Magazine
"The exhibition’s works are all centered around the wellspring of art that emerged out of the modernist revolution of the mid-20th century – a time when these countries underwent significant political, social and cultural change.”
Paul Joseph, December 13, 2019
Wall Street Journal
"These works are the highlights of a collection unsurpassed in its depth and breadth by any other in the U.S. Whether visitors are interested in the politics of this time and region or the artistic achievements of individual artists, the exhibition offers unique opportunities to satisfy one’s curiosity."”
Michael FitzGerald, September 17, 2019
The New Yorker
"The many standouts here include the Indian artist Prabhakar Barwe’s fiery cosmograms, inspired by both Tantric painting and Paul Klee; the entrancing calligraphic abstractions of the Iranian modernist Charles Hossein Zenderoudi; and the prints of Mustafa Aslier, whose flat geometries incorporate Turkish folk motifs. The show is as edifying as it is eye-catching."”
Johanna Fateman, October 2019