Institute of Contemporary Art

Updated
1 Dec 2016

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Barbara Kasten: Stages, 2015, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania. Photo by Constance Mensh. Courtesy of ICA.

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taisha paggett, counts orchestrate, a meadow (or weekly practice with breath), 2016, Institute of Contemporary Art. Photo by Stacey MacDonald.

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Stefan Sagmeister's The Happy Show, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, 2012. Photo by Matt Kirkpatrick.

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Barbara Kasten: Stages, 2015, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), University of Pennsylvania. Photo by Constance Mensh. Courtesy of ICA.

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Aria Dean, "Untitled (Bale #1)," 2017, cotton, copper wire and straps. Photo courtesy of the Institute of Contemporary Art.

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. Among the projects presented with Center support are exhibitions that examine contemporary artists' relationships to craft (Dirt on Delight), architecture (Fertilizers: Olin/Eisenman), and design (Stefan Sagmeister's The Happy Show). Other Center-supported exhibitions include the retrospective Barbara Kasten: Stages, and Endless Shout, an interdisciplinary, multi-artist project exploring the role of performance in museum spaces. In 2018, the organization received a Center Project grant to present Colored People Time: Mundane Futures, Quotidian Pasts, and Banal Presents, a three-part, multidisciplinary exhibition that examined the history, present, and future of blackness in America, featuring the work of artists Carolyn Lazard, Cameron Rowland, Sable Elyse Smith, and Martine Syms. In 2020, ICA received a Center Project grant for Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation, a major retrospective on the pioneering work of Ulysses Jenkins, who emerged in the late 1970s as one of the first Black video artists. In 2021, ICA received a Re:imagining Recovery grant to engage its staff, board, community, and consultants in a strategic visioning process—centered on diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI) themes—that will guide its internal processes and future curatorial, public engagement, and fundraising efforts.