By Roberta Smith
This autumn the excavation, reconstitution and globalization of 20th-century modernism continues apace. And that’s not just because the new, improved Museum of Modern Art is reopening next month, although let’s not minimize the significance of the main birthplace of modernist linearity seriously rearranging its brain cells. Nearly all the shows here contribute in some way, from a show about New York’s first female gallerist at the Jewish Museum, to a “second-tier” French painter at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the redeployment of the Modern’s famed “Americans” exhibitions, which originated at an upstart museum in Florida.
Untrained in either art or art history, Abby Weed Grey was a globalist ahead of her time. Around 1960, this well-off Midwestern widow decided to collect non-Western contemporary art and began acquiring postwar modernist works in Iran, Turkey and India, as well as Japan.