A place to encounter art that speaks to urgent issues facing our community and our country
The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania believes in the power of art and artists to inform and inspire. The ICA is free for all to engage and connect with the art of our time.
Founded in 1963 by the visionary dean of the school of architecture, Holmes Perkins, who wanted to expose students to what was “new and happening” in art and culture, ICA has developed an international reputation as a preeminent venue for contemporary art and culture. A non-collecting museum, ICA is also one of the only kunsthalles in America. As part of the University of Pennsylvania, our artist-centric program is complemented by the intellectual rigor of a premier academic institution.
Since our founding, ICA exhibitions have aimed to bring under-recognized artists to the attention of the broader world. This was true in 1965 when we organized Andy Warhol’s first ever solo museum show, helping propel him to superstardom; when we presented early shows of artists like Laurie Anderson, Richard Artschwager, Vija Celmins, Karen Kilimnik, Charles LeDray, Barry Le Va, Glenn Ligon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Agnes Martin, Damian Ortega, Pepon Osorio, Tavares Strachan, and Cy Twombly; and it remains true today.
It is this continued commitment to both accessibility and risk-taking that prompted New York Times art critic Roberta Smith to declare ICA “among the most adventuresome showcases in the country where art since 1970 is concerned…”
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