Founded in 1963, the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania has developed an international reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and culture. ICA is widely known for exhibiting artists at critical points in their careers. It organized the first museum shows on the work of Andy Warhol, Laurie Anderson, Robert Indiana, and Agnes Martin. A non-collecting museum, ICA is also one of the only kunsthalles in America.
A major retrospective spotlights the pioneering work of Ulysses Jenkins, who emerged in the late 1970s as one of the first Black video artists. Jenkins’ works interrogate Black stereotypes and provoke questions about the representation of race and gender in media and popular culture. Co-organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and curated by Meg Onli and Erin Christovale, the exhibition was presented at both venues, accompanied by a digital archive and robust catalogue. In addition to Jenkins’ video work, the exhibition includes mural paintings, photography, and the restaging of two of his major performance works, Bay Window (1991) and Talking Hut (1994). Using current video technology, the performances connect artists in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, South Africa, and London, capturing the artist’s original intent to foster international collaboration and increase access to shared art experiences.
The total grant amount represents project funding plus an additional 20% in unrestricted general operating support.