This seems to happen related to using Vue Xstream with Maya but other things may cause it as well. occasionally due to graphics drivers or something when you open Maya all viewports are just blank. You can create a new object and it will render fine but the viewports still display entirely empty.
A solution appears to be to open an old scene, everything should display correctly. Then close Maya. Reopen and now you should be able to see your grid etc. Very strange little issue which seems easy enough to fix but it actually took a little tinkering to fix.
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