Even though the Institute of Contemporary Art turned 50 this year, it is continuing to push the boundaries of modern art on campus.
ICA, located at 36th and Sansom streets, is celebrating its anniversary by looking back at some of its greatest achievements over the years while continuing to stay ahead of current trends in the art world.
On Feb. 12, 2014, the museum will open “ICA@50: Pleasing Artists and Publics Since 1963,” a series of micro-exhibitions and events that will occupy the second floor of the museum until the summer of 2014.
“Each of our curators has highlighted five previous exhibitions and [ICA@50] is kind of a look back at each of these,” Jill Katz, director of marketing and communications at ICA, said. The goal of the celebration, according to ICA’s 50th anniversary pamphlet, is to “look to lesser known moments, to engage today’s artists and to commission new projects.”
“This is exciting for us and will be exciting to give viewers both here and abroad the ability to connect the present and past,” Amy Sadao, the Daniel W. Dietrich, II director of ICA, said.
ICA’s student advisory board, which acts as an ambassador between the institution and Penn undergraduates, is also planning an event called “Free for All” for next semester that will incorporate ideas from Andy Warhol’s 1965 ICA exhibition.
“This year we are trying to relate [the event] to Penn’s Year of Sound and to [ICA’s] Andy Warhol exhibition, which was one of their first [and most significant] shows,” said College sophomore Chloe Kaufman, a member of the student advisory board.
Exactly a month before ICA turned 50 on Oct. 18, the museum opened “Jason Rhoades: Four Roads,” one of the largest and most provocative exhibits the museum has ever displayed. The exhibit consists of four installations that take up all of the museum’s gallery-space.
While ICA has many ties to the Penn’s campus, it has created its own individual identity in the art world.
“Pretty much 24/7 we’re working with living artists,” Chief Curator Ingrid Schaffner said. “That’s why we all love working here. Artists come first, and you’re often helping to support and facilitate their ideas, projects or ambitions.”
“When you look at ICA’s track record, it’s amazing to see how many times in the last 50 years ICA has presented work first, presented ideas first and been ahead of the curve over and over again in identifying what was going to be important,” Sadao said. “We’ve far exceeded the idea of being a university museum.”
The headline of this article has been updated to clarify that ICA@50 will be inspired by past exhibitions, but that ICA will not be recreating any old exhibitions. The article has also been updated to reflect the correct spelling of artist Jason Rhoades’ name. Additionally, the caption of the photo for this article has been corrected, since Rhoades’ exhibition will not be a part of ICA@50.
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