In Memoriam: Thomas Sokolowski

May 11, 2020 By Michèle Wong It is with a deep sense of sorrow that I write about the passing of Thomas Sokolowski, who served as director of NYU’s Grey Art Gallery from 1984 to 1996. During his tenure, Tom organized many groundbreaking exhibitions and was a co-founder of Visual AIDS—but what I treasure most […]

Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s (Grey Art Gallery, New York University and Hirmer Publishers, 2020) was published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same name. Read the book’s introduction below. Introduction: “No Longer a Horizon, but Infinity,” by Suheyla Takesh, co-curator of the exhibition and curator at the Barjeel Art Foundation. […]

Artist Spotlight: Saliba Douaihy

Included in the Grey Art Gallery's exhibition Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s-1980s is Saliba Douaihy (1915-1994), a leading 20th-century painter of Lebanon. Born in 1915 in a mountainous town in northern Lebanon, Douaihy was first exposed to painting and art through the Maronite churches in his hometown. Due to his apprenticeship with Habib Srour at the age of 14, his style was initially realistic and figurative. Srour was a portrait painter of religious, social, and political Arab figures in Lebanon and taught Douaihy the techniques of drawing and painting. Douaihy later assisted Srour in large church murals.

Contrary to popular belief, New York’s Museum of Modern Art was not the first institution in the United States exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Between 1927 and 1943, New York University was home to A.E. Gallatin’s Gallery of Living Art—renamed the Museum of Living Art in 1936—which was restricted to “fresh and individual” works by […]

New York City’s Greenwich Village—bordered roughly by Fourteenth Street on the north, by the Hudson River on the west, by Broadway on the east, and by Houston Street on the south—has long been a fertile spawning ground for the arts. New York University and its art galleries have played key roles in this illustrious history. […]

Better known as the inventor of the electric telegraph, Samuel F. B. Morse was also a professor of painting and sculpture at New York University, which was founded in 1832. His appointment that year to the first such professorship in the United States represents a milestone in his mission to promote the fine arts as […]

In 1974 Abby Weed Grey established the Grey Art Gallery at New York University both as a permanent home for her art collection and to promote international artistic exchange in an academic setting. The Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art at NYU comprises some 700 works produced by artists from […]

Shiseido Women

Photo Essay In Japan, women’s fashion, like makeup, continues to evolve, reflecting the moods and mores of the times. The following photographs of women provide tantalizing glimpses into some of the radical changes that have marked the past century. At the opening of the Meiji era in 1868, only the few Europeans and Americans living […]

Bridging the Art/Commerce Divide:  Cindy Sherman and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons

In 1994, Cindy Sherman produced a series of photographs for the clothing company Comme des Garçons that break virtually every rule of fashion photography. As philosopher Roland Barthes has observed, fashion photography is generally governed by a “garment-photograph-caption” formulation, an apt description that cannot, however, be applied to Sherman’s interpretation of Comme des Garçons clothes. […]

Maya Deren and Haiti

Maya Deren’s fascination with New World African culture was an enduring leitmotif of her artistic vision. She began her career with Katherine Dunham’s dance troupe, which was famous for exploring the mythological roots of Caribbean ritual movement, and by 1942 she was publishing articles about Haitian religion and dance. She focused on the spiritual implications […]