By Michael McLeod
Here’s an April 1960 entry, dateline, Katmandu, in the diary of a solitary tourist–a determined Midwestern widow named Abby Weed Grey:
“My usual feelers were out, trying to find artists. Other travelers might have been suspicious or reluctant to follow the advice of a hotel clerk, but this was my only lead, and I felt a good one. If I went to the universities and asked for their advice, I was given lists of those who emphasized the academic style espoused by those institutions. I wanted the new.”
She wanted it and found it, single-handedly compiling a remarkable trove of cutting-edge modern art in Asia and the Middle East. When, as far as the reigning experts and institutions were concerned, nothing of much importance regarding progressive contemporary artistry happened outside the borders of Europe and the United States.