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Director’s Foreword Jill Medvedow


When the visionary leaders of the ICA brought Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937) to Boston in 1940, they showed the boldness and imagination that remain the hallmark of the ICA today. They understood that the painting, a protest of the recent Spanish Civil War that was still relevant as Hitler advanced on Europe, represented a radical rupture in the trajectory of modern art. For Bostonians, it was a startling introduction to Cubism in the context of morally engaged art. The exhibition in which it appeared, Picasso, Forty Years of His Art, was organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at the time affiliated with the ICA, both having been founded the previous decade by fellow Harvard students James Sachs Plaut and Alfred Barr, Jr. In 1940, the ICA had no permanent address, and arranged with the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to have the show presented there. With this gesture, the ICA demonstrated its courage, spirit of collaboration, and philosophy of cultural and civic leadership. Seventy-five years later, the ICA still upholds these values, remaining what Plaut called “a laboratory for experimentation,” a museum dedicated to new art, new ideas, and the freedom to express them. As I reflect on the ICA’s history, the legacy of Guernica is everywhere evident. We continue to champion contemporary artists whose work explores our interior and exterior lives, our histories, landscapes, politics, wars, materials, celebrities, and technologies, revealing our differences and our commonalities. We take the occasion of our anniversary as an opportunity to look back on all that we have achieved — the many exhibitions and artists the ICA has introduced to its audiences — and to recognize the impact our innovative work has had on Boston and beyond. As a contemporary art museum, our mission is to constantly look forward, and I am delighted that the future of the ICA will live up to its memorable past. Since its founding, the ICA has championed the great artists and artistic developments of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Exhibitions such as Paul Gauguin, Picasso/Matisse, Contemporary German Art, Décor and Costumes for Ballet, and Contemporary American Watercolors provided eye-opening glimpses of work made 3

by European artists—including those forced out of Europe in the 1930s — as well as U.S. artists such as Charles Burchfield, Arthur Dove, Charles Demuth, and John Sloan. In the early 1940s, at a time when Boston was racially and ethnically segregated, the ICA organized Modern Mexican Painters and Paintings and Sculpture by American Negro Artists. The titles Ladies Choice and Women’s Work likewise reflect the ICA’s activist egalitarianism. From the middle of the century on, ICA exhibitions presented art from around the world, charting variations in geography, religion, style, genre, medium (architecture, film, design, and glass in addition to painting and sculpture), and technology. Historic exhibitions include Frank Lloyd Wright in 1940, Andy Warhol in 1965, Florine Stettheimer in 1980, Cindy Sherman in 1988, Robert Mapplethorpe in 1990, Rosemarie Trockel in 1991, Nam June Paik in 1994, The Boston School in 1995, and Inside the Visible in 1997. Equally important, the ICA has closely monitored the evolution of new art forms. It quickly detected photography’s emergence as a driving force in contemporary art, pioneered video with the establishment of the Contemporary Art Fund, and presented performance art early in its development. The museum hastened to move outside its walls to commission important and ambitious installations of public art. Literally thousands of extraordinary artists constitute the ICA history. The change in the name of the museum from The Institute of Modern Art to The Institute of Contemporary Art in 1948 signaled a powerful break with the New York establishment and a rejection of the perceived hermeticism, elitism even, that had recently become attached to the term “modern.” Explaining this decision, the ICA circulated a press release cum manifesto that described modern art as a “cult of bewilderment … obscurity and negation” and heralded “contemporary art” as a more relevant and accessible set of practices. The issue of whether or not the ICA and the other contemporary art museums that have proliferated in the intervening years can convincingly counter the charge of elitism is a challenge the ICA still grapples with. 4

This timeline not only provides a view of the history of the ICA, but that of Boston as well — its social, political, and economic shifts as well as aesthetic and cultural ones. As this story makes clear, the ICA community is connected by a passion for art, for the artist’s voice, and for the belief in the crucial importance of art in cities and society at large. As the 11th director of the ICA, I am grateful to all those whose work has carried the ICA to this momentous occasion in our history: artists, trustees, overseers, curators, directors, patrons, members, and staff. The seventy-fifth anniversary of our founding is also the fifth anniversary of the ICA’s new home on Boston Harbor. Our magnificent and critically acclaimed new museum, brilliantly designed by Diller Scofidio+Renfro, is a 21st-century platform for the experimentation and progressive ideals central to our origins. Like the ICA itself, the building is characterized by porosity, transparency, inclusion, and interactivity. While the ICA’s spirit is as youthful as it was at our creation, the museum continues to grow and change. We are now a collecting institution with a robust program of exhibitions and presentations in the performing and media arts, dedicated to inspiring and educating the next generation of artists and leaders. This timeline of seventy-five years is a historical document and a source of great pride. More important, it is a template for the future — another seventy-five years of fierce commitment to contemporary art.


1936–2011 Timeline by Claire Grace



1936—The ICA incorporates as the Boston Museum of Modern Art, a “renegade offspring of the Museum of Modern Art” in New York (MoMA). Among the oldest museums in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art, the ICA is led in its earliest years by architect Nathaniel Saltonstall (appointed president at age 26), joined by senior trustees W. G. Russell Allen and Thomas N. Metcalf.


1936–2011 Exhibition catalogue for Paul Gauguin, 1936.


Offices are rented at 114 State Street, and gallery space is provided by the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger Museums at Harvard University in Cambridge. 1936/EXHIBITIONS

The ICA’s inaugural season opens with the first survey exhibition of Paul Gauguin in the Boston area. 1936/NEWS

The ICA welcomes supporters to its first fundraiser, the Modern Art Ball, attended by many art-world luminaries, including Salvador and Gala Dalí, who arrive costumed as sharks. — 1937/EXHIBITIONS

Organized by MoMA director Alfred Barr, the first comprehensive survey of Dada and Surrealism sparks a flurry of press attention with works by Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Man Ray, and Meret Oppenheim, who exhibits her now-famous fur-lined teacup, Objet (1936). 1937/LOCATION

The ICA relocates to 14 Newbury Street in Boston. Museum admission is 25¢. — 8

Salvador and Gala Dali, photographed in 1954. Photo: Bettmann/Corbis.



The Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo performing Rouge et noir, choreographed by Leonide Massine, with scenery and costumes by Henri Matisse, 1939. Geller/Goldfine Productions from the film Ballets Russes. ©Dan Geller, Dayna Goldfine.


The ICA organizes the first U.S. exhibition to examine the complex artistic dialogue between Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, two of the most important figures in twentieth-century art. 1938/PERFORMANCE

Leading the way in presenting visual and performance art together, the ICA sponsors the U.S. debut performance of the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo, a collaboration with Picasso and Matisse. 1938/LOCATION

The ICA relocates to the Boston Art Club at 270 Dartmouth Street. — 10

Installation view of Charles Despiau and Aristide Maillol: A Show of Sculpture, 1939.




The ICA takes a stand against the policies of the Nazi Party by showcasing so-called “degenerate” artworks recently purged from Third Reich museum collections. Artists include Max Beckmann, Ernst Kirchner, Paul Klee, Emil Nolde, and other seminal figures of twentieth-century German expressionism.


ICA Director James S. Plaut, 1939.


Severing formal ties with MoMA, the ICA establishes itself as a fully independent organization, renaming itself The Institute of Modern Art. James S. Plaut becomes the institution’s first director, and defines its identity as an “experimental laboratory” for contemporary art. — 13


Frank Lloyd Wright.


Installation view of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1940.


Picasso, Forty Years of His Art, organized by MoMA’s Alfred Barr and hosted by the ICA, introduces Picasso’s 1937 antiwar masterpiece Guernica, conceived in response to the Spanish Civil War and still timely as World War II sweeps the globe. On the occasion of his first museum survey in the U.S. Frank Lloyd Wright delivers a public lecture attended by some 1,000 guests. 1940/LOCATION

The ICA relocates to 210 Beacon Street. — 15


Jacob Lawrence, Harlem, 1942–1943. Artists Rights Society (ARS).


Modern Mexican Painters presents the work of Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros, among others. — 1942/NEWS

Founding trustees Thomas Metcalf and W. G. Russell Allen step in as acting co-directors while James Plaut leaves Boston to serve in the war. Plaut’s wartime activities (1942–46) include directing the Art Looting Investigation Unit tasked with sorting and returning works of art pillaged by the Nazis. — 1943/EXHIBITIONS

The first survey in New England of African-American artists focuses on the Harlem Renaissance and its legacy, with paintings and sculptures by Romare Bearden and Jacob Lawrence, among others. 1943/LOCATION

The ICA relocates to 138 Newbury Street. — 16

“Dr. MacKinley Helm of Brookline returning from a rapid round trip flight to Mexico City with the last canvases for the national exhibition Modern Mexican Painters opening at the Institute, November 19. Greeting him at the East Boston Airport is James S. Plaut, Director of the Institute of Modern Art.�




The work of Ad Reinhardt is exhibited early in his career in a group exhibition surveying the shifting field of American abstract painting since 1940. — 1946/CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts is founded. — 1948/EXHIBITIONS

The ICA introduces American artists to the work of Swiss architect and designer Le Corbusier in his first U.S. museum exhibition. Austrian expressionist painter Oskar Kokoschka visits the museum to deliver a public lecture on the occasion of his first major solo exhibition in the U.S. 1948/NEWS

Setting off heated debate in the art world, the museum changes its name from The Institute of Modern Art to The Institute of Contemporary Art, distancing itself from the ideological inflections the term “modern” has accrued in favor of its original meaning: “that which exists now.” The ICA launches a series of bi-weekly interviews with New England artists, transmitted through WBMS. — 18

Installation view of Oskar Kokoschka, 1948.

(left) Le Corbusier, 1948; (right) Installation view of New World of Space: Le Corbusier, 1948.



(left) The Plastic Show, 1941. Photo: Crosby of Boston; (right) Installation view of Edvard Munch, 1950.


Six Women Painters from New England presents works by Maud Morgan and I. Rice Pereira, among others, and contests the longstanding under-representation of women in the arts. Early in the American reception of Edvard Munch, the ICA presents a major career survey that includes the German expressionist’s now-iconic work The Scream (1893–1910). 1950/NEWS

The ICA makes national news with a statement co-signed with the Whitney and MoMA that affirms the dedication of all three museums to the exploration of new frontiers in artistic practice. — 1951/EXHIBITIONS

A survey of British art since the turn of the century features the work of eminent painter Francis Bacon and the young Lucian Freud, soon to become one of the most distinguished painters of the twentieth century. — 20

Design in Industry, 1952. Photo: George M. Cushing, Jr.

Lucian Freud, Sleeping Nude, 1950. ©Lucian Freud, courtesy Lucian Freud Archive



Installation view of Walter Gropius: Approach to Design, 1952. Photo: Fred Stone


A comprehensive traveling exhibition of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius surveys his formative role in the emergence of modernist architecture and design. 22

Wassily Kandinsky, Pink Accent, 1926. Artists Rights Society (ARS)


In one of the earliest U.S. retrospectives dedicated to Wassily Kandinsky, the ICA explores the artist’s foundational role in the development of abstraction with fifty-two major paintings, many never before exhibited in this country. — 1953/EXHIBITIONS

The first retrospective of American painter Milton Avery is held at the ICA. — 1954/EXHIBITIONS

The ICA explores points of comparison in the work of two prominent Boston painters, Hyman Bloom and Jack Levine. — 23



ICA director James Plaut co-juries the 24th Corcoran Biennial, which travels from Washington, D.C. to Boston, introducing audiences to recent paintings by Adolph Gottlieb and Willem de Kooning, among others. — 1956/EXHIBITIONS

The ICA hosts The Gulf-Caribbean International, organized by the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, emphasizing the importance of cultural and geographic diversity in contemporary art. 1956/LOCATION

The ICA moves to new quarters at 230 The Fenway. 1956/NEWS

Thomas Messer is appointed director, serving in that position until 1962. — 1957/EXHIBITIONS

The ICA celebrates twenty years at the forefront of contemporary art in Boston with highlights from previous exhibitions. Selection 1957 inaugurates an annual exhibition program surveying New England artists, organized most years through 1964. — 1958/EXHIBITIONS

Eminent art historian William Rubin organizes the first U.S. museum survey dedicated to Spanish painter Roberto Matta (sponsored by MoMA in collaboration with Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and the ICA). — 1959/EXHIBITIONS

Young Talent in New England takes art outside the museum: installed on the walls of a Stop & Shop store on Memorial Drive in Boston, the exhibition displays the work of regional artists and anticipates the growing interest in American consumer culture among Pop artists such as Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol. — 24

Installation view of Matta, 1958.

Installation view of Future Classics, Symphony Hall Selection Series, 1958. (following) Installation view of Memorial Drive Stop and Shop Exhibition: Young Talent in New England, 1959.



ICA Bulletin, 1959, announcing the Nathaniel Saltonstall-designed Metropolitan Boston Arts Center.



The ICA organizes an unprecedented U.S. museum exhibition dedicated to the career of Viennese expressionist Egon Schiele. 1960/LOCATION

Newly designed by architect and ICA founder Nathaniel Saltonstall, the Metropolitan Boston Arts Center at 1175 Soldiers Field Road becomes the museum’s home for two years. — 1962/EXHIBITIONS

First presented at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, American Art Since 1950 introduces East Coast audiences to some of the most influential figures of the early postwar period, including Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Barnett Newman, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. 1962/NEWS

Sue Thurman takes the helm as the ICA’s director, serving in that position until 1968. — 1963/LOCATION

The ICA relocates to 100 Newbury Street. 1963/CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art is founded at the University of Pennsylvania. — 29


ICA at 100 Newbury Street, 1963.


Installation of American Art Since 1950, 1962.

Claes Oldenburg during American Art Since 1950 exhibition, 1962.



Filene’s window display based on the ICA exhibition Biennale Eight, 1964.



The 32nd Venice Biennale signals the sensational arrival of American Pop art on the international scene. A concurrent exhibition at the ICA celebrates the artists representing the U.S. in Venice: John Chamberlain, Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, and Frank Stella. —



Id mosantiam, sim qui sit la duci. Bridget Riley at opening of London: The New Scene, 1965.


Artist Marcel Duchamp attends the opening of Art Turned On, 1965.


At an early moment in the history of electronic media and video art, Art Turned On brings together some of its leading pioneers, including Dan Flavin, Robert Whitman, and Fluxus artists Ay-O and Joe Jones. Marcel Duchamp attends the exhibition and takes a special interest in Jones’s Music Plant. London: The New Scene, organized by the Walker Art Center, is one of the earliest exhibitions to introduce U.S. audiences to the work of Bridget Riley. Received ideas about mark making, gesture, and authorship come under scrutiny in Painting Without A Brush, presenting works by Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Jackson Pollock, Jean Tinguely, and Andy Warhol, among others. — 35


Opening night of Painting Without a Brush—Dripped, Dragged, Rolled, Rubbed, Sprayed, Screened, Stamped, Spattered, Squeezed, Poured, 1965.


Installation view of Art Turned On, 1966. Works left to right by Tsai, Robert Breer, and Robert Indiana.




Warhol and the Velvet Underground stage a public performance of the landmark intermedia work Exploding Plastic Inevitable.

Holly Solomon, Andy Warhol, and International Velvet at the opening of Andy Warhol, 1966.


A performance of Exploding Plastic Inevitable, 1966, with Nico and The Velvet Underground.

Installation view of Andy Warhol, 1966. Photo: Barney Burstein



Installation view of Multiplicity, 1966. Works left to right by Andy Warhol, Bridget Riley, Larry Bell, Kasper-Thomas Lenk, Donald Judd, Francois Morellet, and Omar Rayo. Photo: Barney Burstein


Multiplicity explores the rise of serial composition and industrial materials, putting minimalism on the map in Boston with works by Carl Andre, Donald Judd, Yayoi Kusama, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, and Robert Smithson. The ICA organizes the second museum exhibition dedicated to Andy Warhol with nearly forty iconic works from series that will soon become touchstones of twentieth-century art history: Campbell’s Soup, Do It Yourself, Coca-Cola, Electric Chairs, Disasters, Race Riots, and portraits of Jackie Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Elizabeth Taylor. The exhibition also marks the first museum showing of Warhol’s films, including excerpts from Eat, Sleep, and Kiss (all 1963–64). — 40

Visitors with Acoustiguides examine The Widow, in Edward Kienholz: An Exhibition of Assemblages and Tableaux, 1966.




Marking the early history of video art and installation, The Projected Image brings together work by Les Levine, USCO, Stan VanDerBeek, and Robert Whitman. 1967/CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

The Museum of Contemporary Art is founded in Chicago. — 1968/EXHIBITIONS

Showcasing several figures central to Arte Povera (a movement first identified in 1967 by Germano Celant), Young Italians features work by Michelangelo Pistoletto and marks the U.S. premiere of Jannis Kounellis and Pino Pascali. 1968/LOCATION

The ICA returns to 1175 Soldiers Field Road. 1968/NEWS

Andrew Hyde is appointed director and serves in that position until 1974, with a one-year interlude (1971–72) during which artist Christopher Cook leads the organization, with a focus on conceptual art. — 1969/EXHIBITIONS

A memorial exhibition highlighting the collection of ICA founder Nathaniel Saltonstall (1903–1968) celebrates his life and work. — 1970/LOCATION

Parkman House at 33 Beacon Street becomes the ICA’s new temporary home. — 42

Installation of The Projected Image, 1967.

Work by Michelangelo Pistoletto in Young Italians, 1968.




With Monumental Sculpture for Public Spaces, the ICA again brings art into the public arena, making the city of Boston the site for outdoor sculptural interventions by Alexander Calder, Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, Mark di Suvero, and others. At City Hall Plaza, Robert Indiana erects a 12-foothigh steel version of his iconic LOVE. —


Robert Indiana’s LOVE installed at City Hall Plaza as part of Monumental Sculpture for Public Spaces, 1971.



Lucy Lippard, art critic and curator of C. 7,500, 1973. From Lucy Lippard 1979: An Interview. Lyn Blumenthal & Kate Horsfield. Image copyright of the artists, courtesy of Video Data Bank.

ICA moves to 955 Boylston Street.


Pioneering conceptual artist Douglas Huebler receives the first solo museum exhibition of his career. 1972/LOCATION

The ICA moves to 137 Newbury Street. — 1973/LOCATION

A transformed police headquarters at 955 Boylston Street becomes the ICA’s new home for the next thirty-three years. — 46


On tour from CalArts, the exhibition C. 7,500 marks a pivotal moment in the history of art and feminism, offering “an exasperated reply to those who claim there are no women making conceptual art,” with works by Christine Kozlov, Adrian Piper, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles, among numerous others. Exhibition curator Lucy Lippard attends the ICA’s presentation and moderates a panel discussion. —



Installation view of Wit and Wisdom: Works by Baldessari, Hudson, Levine and Oppenheim, 1977.


An exhibition observing the rise of postminimalism features work by Ree Morton and Hannah Wilke, among others. A two-person exhibition pairs paintings by Joan Snyder and Pat Steir. 1974/NEWS

Cambridge sculptor Sydney Rockefeller serves as acting director until the appointment in 1975 of Gabriella Jepson, who serves as director until 1978. — 1975/EXHIBITIONS

Photographs, maps, and drawings document Christo and JeanClaude’s Ocean Front (1974), their most recent public intervention. The ICA later returns to the couple’s oeuvre, organizing a major survey of their urban projects in 1979. — 1976/EXHIBITIONS

Organized by the ICA and the Walker Art Center, Six Themes offers one of the first major retrospectives of the work of Claes Oldenburg, who attends the exhibition and delivers a public lecture. 1976/NEWS

The ICA launches the Open City Youth Program. — 48

(top and bottom) Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Ocean Front, Newport, 1974. Photo: G. Gorgoni. ŠChristo 1974



Paul Taylor Dance Company, 1978



New media and performance art come to light in Wit and Wisdom, curated by Michael Leja, with works by John Baldessari, Jeff Hudson, Les Levine, and Dennis Oppenheim. Twenty photographic collages by David Hockney introduce this important British post-Pop artist to American audiences in one of his first solo exhibitions. 1977/FILM

Accompanying the summer exhibition Boston Collectors Collect Contemporary, the ICA hosts a two-month series of film screenings by or about the many preeminent artists on view: Robert Frank, David Hockney, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Alice Neel, Kenneth Noland, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, and Robert Whitman. 1977/CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

The New Museum is founded in New York. — 1978/EXHIBITIONS

Modern Works is the first survey to examine Roy Lichtenstein’s shift in 1965 from comics and cartoons to canonical works of modernist art as sources for his imagery. 1978/PERFORMANCE

Paul Taylor Dance Company performs at the ICA with set and costumes by Boston-based artist Alex Katz. 1978/NEWS

Stephen Prokopoff joins the ICA as director, serving in that position until 1982. — 1979/EXHIBITIONS

A survey of minimalist sculpture features Carl Andre (whose career retrospective will travel to the ICA in 1980), Sol LeWitt, and Robert Morris. — 51


Catalogue for Roy Lichtenstein: The Modern Work, 1965–1970, 1978.

Brochure for New Allegory I, 1982.


Marta Renzi and Dancers, part of the performance series for Art and Dance: Images of the Modern Dialogue 1890–1980, 1983.

Installation view of Art and Dance: Images of the Modern Dialogue 1890–1980, 1983.




The first U.S. museum exhibition dedicated exclusively to Dada features more than eighty objects by Hans Arp, John Heartfield, Hannah Höch, and others. 1980/NEWS

Steeped in the culture of the times, an ICA fundraiser offers an evening of roller-disco, with activities for skaters and spectators alike. 1980/CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

The Museum of Contemporary Art is founded in Los Angeles. — 1982/EXHIBITIONS

New Allegory is the first U.S. museum exhibition to introduce the work of Francesco Clemente and Anselm Kiefer, and among the first to show canvases by Julian Schnabel; all three are about to become some of the best-known painters of the decade. Art and Dance examines a century (1890–1980) of exchange between visual art and dance, featuring works by dozens of creative artists, including Merce Cunningham, Marcel Duchamp, and Yvonne Rainer, and performances by Marta Renzi and Dancers, among other companies. The ICA presents the early work of architect Frank Gehry, soon to become one of the most influential figures in his field. 1982/NEWS

David Ross joins the ICA as director, serving in that position until 1990. — 54

Brochure for Uncommonly Frank: Gehry’s Houses and Furniture, 1982.



Jenny Holzer, “The mouth is interesting because it is one of those places where the dry outside moves toward the slippery inside.” Artists Rights Society (ARS).


Installation view of Nam June Paik: BSO and Beyond, 1984.


In its second year, CURRENTS, a flexibly structured “exhibition stream” that continues through 1993, presents work by General Idea, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, and Martha Rosler. — 1984/EXHIBITIONS

Nam June Paik: BSO and Beyond displays a large-scale video installation by one of the medium’s most formative innovators. CURRENTS presents the work of Marina Abramović and Ulay. 1984/FILM

An ICA video art program features Joan Jonas, Dara Birnbaum, Tony Oursler, and others. 1984/NEWS

In an important event in the history of video art, the ICA partners with Boston’s PBS station WGBH to create the Contemporary Art Television Fund in support of artists’ projects for television broadcast. — 1985/EXHIBITIONS

Boston Now: Photography extends the ICA’s long-standing tradition of support for area artists, presenting the work of Boston-trained twins Doug and Mike Starn, Mark Morrisroe, and many others. — 57



Curated by David Joselit and Elisabeth Sussman, Endgame finds points of comparison in the work of such artists as Peter Halley, Jeff Koons, Sherrie Levine, and Haim Steinbach.


As Found examines the shifting parameters of the readymade in the work of Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, and Allan McCollum. In his first solo museum show, photoconceptualist Allan Sekula premieres his landmark work Geography Lessons: Canadian Notes. The ICA marks its 50th anniversary with Dissent: The Issue of Modern Art in Boston, tracing some of the museum’s most significant contributions in a three-part exhibition and catalogue: “The Expressionist Challenge,” “Revolt in Boston,” and “As Found.” 1986/FILM

The ICA presents the New England premiere of True Stories, a 1986 film by David Byrne, who attends the screening with co-star Jo Harvey Allen. — 58

ICA Newsletter, 1986




The ICA presents a pivotal mid-career survey of the work of Cindy Sherman, organized by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, one of the most respected artists of her generation. 1987/PERFORMANCE

Karen Finley performs The Constant State of Desire (1987). — 1988/EXHIBITIONS

CURRENTS features the work of Robert Gober, Richard Prince, and

Lorna Simpson. —


Cindy Sherman poses with one of her photographs, 1987.

Installation view of CURRENTS: ’88—Utopia, Post Utopia, 1988. Works left to right by Robert Gober and Meg Webster.



Exhibition announcement for Chris Burden: Twenty Year Survey, 1989.


ICA’s front desk during installation of Situationist International: “On the Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time 1957–1972, 1989.


Pioneering performance and conceptual artist Chris Burden receives his first U.S. museum survey, organized by the Newport Harbor Art Museum and shown at the ICA. The first major museum exhibition dedicated to the Situationist International studies the group’s critique of the “society of the spectacle” first theorized by Guy Debord, and charts fifteen prolific years of agitational activity in Europe between 1957 and 1972. CURRENTS takes account of artists’ response to the AIDS crisis, presenting work by Gregg Bordowitz, Isaac Julien, and Tom Kalin, among others. — 63



Robert Mapplethorpe’s first U.S. museum survey, organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, culminates at the ICA after nationwide travel. At two other venues, the images’ homoerotic content provokes a highly visible censorship scandal involving the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Congress, and conservative organizations. The show becomes a cause célèbre in the so-called Culture Wars. As it had during World War II, the ICA takes a position championing the freedom of expression. 1990/EXHIBITIONS

French photoconceptualist Sophie Calle receives her first U.S. museum exhibition at the ICA. 1990/NEWS

Milena Kalinovska joins the ICA as director, serving in that position until 1998. — 64

Invitation for Robert Mapplethorpe, The Perfect Moment, 1990.



Yasumasa Morimura, Doublonnage (Marcel), 1988. ©2010 Luhring Augustine. Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Installation view of Malcolm X: Man, Ideal, Icon, 1993.

Brochure for Steve McQueen’s Five Easy Pieces, screened at the ICA in 1995.



The ICA presents the U.S. museum premiere of 18 Oktober 1977, a series of fifteen paintings by German painter Gerhard Richter addressing the intersection of photography, memory, and historical representation. — 1992/EXHIBITIONS

The work of Boston-based artist Maria Magdalena Campos Pons is featured in a museum group show for the first time in her career. — 1993/EXHIBITIONS

CURRENTS reflects the rise of Queer theory and a growing sense

of freedom concerning issues of sexuality and gender, with works by Lyle Ashton Harris, Catherine Opie, and Yasumasa Morimura, among others. With works by such artists as David Hammons and Glenn Ligon, Malcolm X: Man, Ideal, Icon explores the cultural and political legacy of one of the most galvanizing African-American leaders in U.S. history. 1993/FILM

The ICA screens the Boston premiere of Jennie Livingston’s groundbreaking documentary Paris Is Burning. — 1994/EXHIBITIONS

Exploring the shifting terrain of public art, Public Interventions surveys new approaches rooted in activism and site-specificity, with works by Hans Haacke, Alfredo Jaar, and the artist collectives General Idea, Gran Fury, Group Material, and the Guerrilla Girls. Intersections of sexuality, class, and photography come under analysis in an exhibition featuring Tina Barney, Moyra Davey, Silvia Kolbowski, and Laurie Simmons. — 67



Prominent British artist Rachel Whiteread, recipient of the 1994 Turner Prize, receives her second U.S. museum survey. The Boston School is the first museum exhibition to identify common threads in the work of Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Nan Goldin, Jack Pierson, Shellburne Thurber, and other photographers living and working in Boston in the late 1970s and ’80s. Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Paul McCarthy, and David Wojnarowicz participate in CURRENTS. 1995/FILM

The ICA introduces Boston audiences to the productions of filmmaker Steve McQueen. — 1996/EXHIBITIONS

Curated by Catherine de Zegher, Inside the Visible acknowledges under-recognized contributions by women artists in the twentieth century, with works by Louise Bourgeois, Lygia Clark, Eva Hesse, Nancy Spero, and Carrie Mae Weems. New Histories spotlights contemporary artists of African and African-American descent whose work addresses the history and daily realities of racism, such as Isaac Julien, Kara Walker, and Fred Wilson. — 1997/EXHIBITIONS

One of Brazil’s most influential contemporary artists, conceptualist Cildo Meireles, receives the first major U.S. museum exhibition of his career. Enterprise reflects the emergence of Relational Aesthetics (the term first coined in 1996), featuring work by Rirkrit Tiravanija, and, in their first U.S. museum show, Vanessa Beecroft and Liam Gillick. — 68

Catalogue for Inside the Visible, 1996

Installation view of The Boston School, 1995.



Installation view of Cildo Meireles, 1997.

Installation view of Enterprise: Venture and Process in Contemporary Art, 1997.


Art work by Kara Walker in New Histories, 1997.

Let Freedom Ring, ICA/Vita Brevis, 1998


1936–2011 Installation view of Mementos: Kerry James Marshall, 1999.


As the 11th director of the ICA, Jill Medvedow brings a bold vision for artistic and civic leadership to the museum, shepherding important exhibitions, programs for teens and a new home on Boston’s waterfront. 1998/PUBLIC ART

Jill Medvedow launches Vita Brevis at the museum, an ongoing series that commissions local, national, and international artists to create temporary works of art in public settings. Krzysztof Wodiczko and Jim Hodges are among the first artists to receive commissions. — 1999/EXHIBITIONS

Jim Hodges explores the devastation wrought by the AIDS crisis in one of the first solo museum exhibitions of his career, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. African-American artist Kerry James Marshall receives his first major U.S. museum exhibition. 1999/NEWS

The ICA wins a citywide bid to develop a new building for the museum on Boston’s Fan Pier. 1999/CULTURAL LANDSCAPE

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) opens its doors in North Adams, Massachusetts. — 72

Krzysztof Wodiczko, Bunker Hill Monument Projection, Let Freedom Ring, inaugural ICA/Vita Brevis Project, 1998.



Installation view of Olafur Eliasson: Your only real thing is time, 2001.


Installation view of Chen Zhen: Inner Body Landscapes, 2003.


Cornelia Parker receives her first museum solo exhibition in the U.S. — 2001/EXHIBITIONS

Olafur Eliasson receives his first U.S. museum solo exhibition. A companion ICA/Vita Brevis project by Eliasson introduces a temporary floating park moored to Boston’s Fan Pier, adjacent to the ICA’s future home at 100 Northern Avenue. Rineke Dijkstra receives her first U.S. survey. 2001/NEWS

After a competitive selection process, New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio is commissioned to design the new ICA. — 75



In a commissioned ICA/Vita Brevis project, longtime collaborators Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla inspire public dialogue on freedom of speech by placing monumental segments of chalk on pedestrian walkways in the Boston Common. — 2005/EXHIBITIONS

On two LED screens mounted on the Northern Avenue Bridge adjacent to the new ICA, life-size animations by Julian Opie depict the gait of characters Suzanne and Julian as they walk continuously, day and night. —

Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Chalk, ICA/Vita Brevis Project, 2004.



Thomas Hirschhorn’s museumwide installation bears witness to the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Installation view of Thomas Hirschhorn, Utopia, Utopia=One World, One War, One Army, One Dress, 2006.



The ICA opens a new building on Boston’s waterfront, 2006.




Installation view of work from the permanent collection by Paul Chan, 1st Light, 2005. (opposite) Installation view of works from the permanent collection by Luzy McKenzie, Untitled, 2004, and Taylor Davis, Untitled, 2001.


The ICA opens its new, world-class, 65,000-square-foot building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro on Boston’s waterfront, the first art museum to open in Boston in nearly 100 years. The ICA establishes its permanent collection with works by Paul Chan, Marlene Dumas, Mona Hatoum, Christian Jankowski, and Cornelia Parker. Pianist Donal Fox inaugurates the ICA’s new 325-seat Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater, a glass-enclosed waterfront theater unique in the city of Boston. — 80



The ICA presents the world premiere of Looky by the Mark Morris Dance Group.

Mark Morris Dance Group performs Looky, 2007. (opposite) Installation view of Cornelia Parker, Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson), 1999.




Bourgeois in Boston features sculptures, prints, and drawings by Louise Bourgeois from local public and private collections. Street Level, organized by Trevor Schoonmaker for the Nasher Museum of Art, introduces Boston audiences to three emerging artists whose work draws directly from street culture: Mark Bradford, William Cordova, and Robin Rhode. The ICA presents the first U.S. museum exhibition of Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s work in 14 years, and the most extensive show of the artist’s photographs to date. 2007/NEWS

Kelly Sherman is named the winner of the 2006 James and Audrey Foster Prize, a program recognizing Boston-based artists. — 2008/EXHIBITIONS

The ICA organizes Anish Kapoor’s first U.S. museum survey in more than fifteen years, and the first ever on the East Coast. The work of Tara Donovan is presented in her first major museum survey. Two weeks before the opening, the artist is named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. 2008/PERFORMANCE

The ICA hosts the Ditson Festival of Contemporary Music, a four-daylong festival celebrating new music in Boston with performances by eight different ensembles. — 84

Installation view of Tara Donovan, 2009. (following) Installation view of Anish Kapoor: Past Present Future, 2008.


Installation view of Damián Ortega: Do It Yourself, 2009. (opposite) Installation view of Art Wall 3: Ugo Rondinone, Clockwork for Oracles, 2008


The first major museum exhibition dedicated to Shepard Fairey, Supply & Demand, traces his emergence as one of the most influential street artists of our time. As part of the exhibition, the ICA commissions Fairey to mount outdoor posters at various sites throughout the city, including Peace Goddess, a 20-by-50-foot banner, on the exterior facade of Boston’s City Hall. The ICA presents the first survey of work by Mexican artist Damián Ortega. In a new work conceived for the ICA, Boston-based artist Krzysztof Wodiczko focuses on veterans engaged in active combat in Iraq, as well as Iraqi civilians. 2009/PERFORMANCE

In a rare public appearance together, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed share classic and recent works in an intimate evening of music and poetry. In its third summer, Harborwalk Sounds—a waterfront concert series presented by the ICA with Berklee College of Music—draws over 1,000 visitors at each show. 89



Shepard Fairey is arrested on a charge of vandalism on his way to DJ a party celebrating the opening of his exhibition. In a roundup of major arts developments in Boston during the closing decade, the Boston Globe puts the ICA at the top of the list, crediting the museum’s new building on Boston’s waterfront for ushering in new excitement and appreciation for contemporary art in the city. Andrew Witkin is named the winner of the 2008 James and Audrey Foster Prize. — 2010/EXHIBITIONS

The ICA presents the first museum survey of paintings by Mark Bradford, organized by the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2009. 2010/PERFORMANCE

Poet Anne Carson and choreographer Rashaun Mitchell present the world premiere of Knox, commissioned by the ICA and Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy. Jenny Holzer presents a new text projection on the exterior of the ICA as part of her collaboration with Bessie Award-winning choreographer Miguel Gutierrez. 2010/NEWS

Helen Molesworth is appointed chief curator of the ICA. Speaking out against censorship, the ICA joins a number of cultural institutions across the country to screen David Wojnarowicz’s video A Fire in My Belly, recently removed from an exhibition at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in response to pressure from prominent religious and political figures. Amie Siegel is named the winner of the 2010 James and Audrey Foster Prize. — 90

Shepard Fairey, Peace Goddess installed at Boston’s City Hall, as part of Shepard Fairey: Supply & Demand, 2009.

View of Jenny Holzer’s projected video, For Richard and Miguel on ICA’s exterior, 2010. Part of the series Co Lab: Works & Process.



Installation view of Catherine Opie, Empty and Full, 2011.

Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company perform Body Against Body, 2011.



ICA unveils new work by Catherine Opie, one of the defining artists of her generation. The ICA organizes Dance/Draw, an ambitious thematic exhibition that investigates the connections between visual art and dance over the past fifty years. 2011/PERFORMANCE

ICA commissions and hosts the world premiere of Body Against Body by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. The ICA’s 75th anniversary performance season features the Trisha Brown Dance Company performing in the theater and in the galleries. The world premiere of The Untitled Still Life by visual artist Sarah Sze and choreographer Trajal Harrell, commissioned by the ICA and Summer Stages Dance at Concord Academy. 2011/News

ICA welcomes its one millionth visitor to its waterfront location. ♌


ICA STAFF Susie Allen Pedro Alonzo John Andress Ryan Arnett Jennifer Bates Paul Bessire Samuel Betts Branka Bogdanov Ashley Capachione Stephanie Chiodo Scott Colby Krista Dahl Amy Darr Alice Delaney Jana Dengler Joe Douillette Richard Favaloro Emma Fernandez Shelby Finger Keith Foster Karin France Monica Garza Kelly Gifford Kathryn Greenberg Maurice Haddon Bridget Hanson David Henry Allyson Hyland Ginny Jenkins Dereck Kalish Leah Kandel Peter Kinsella Amanda Lassell Whitney Leese Kathleen Lomatoski Patrick Manchon Kevin Manley Jill Medvedow Helen Molesworth Darcey Moore Janet Moore Maggie Moore Svetlana Murguz Toru Nakanishi


Jon Nickerson Alexandra Nikolaisen Tim Obetz Victor Oliveira Purvi Patwari Beck Ankica Pogorzelski Jenelle Porter Colette Randall Chris Rosol David Shea Anna Stothart Donna Sturtevant Michael Taubenberger Gabrielle Wyrick 2010–11 BOARD OF TRUSTEES Lori Fireman Baldwin Charles Brizius Dr. Paul Buttenwieser Ann K. Collier Karen Swett Conway Steven D. Corkin Robert Davoli Fotene Demoulas John DesPrez Mary Schneider Enriquez Bridgitt Evans Tim Ferguson Jerry Fineberg Jean-Francois Formela James C. Foster Niki Friedberg Ansbert Gadicke Vivien Hassenfeld William H. Hess William Kelly Curtis R. Kemeny Barbara Lee Tristin Mannion Sheryl Marshall Jill Medvedow* Ronald O’Hanley James Pallotta Ellen M. Poss, M.D. David Puth

Charles Rodgers Karen Rotenberg Mario Russo Mark Schwartz Jonathan Seelig Anthony Terrana, D.M.D. Nicholas D. Winton Nicole Zatlyn* *ex-officio HONORARY TRUSTEES Clark Bernard Vin Cipolla Ronald Logue Steven J. Stadler David Thorne Nancy Tieken BOARD OF OVERSEERS Jacqueline Bernat Robert E. Burke Ronni Casty Kathryn Conway Eleanor Cornish Chu Michael Danziger Judith Donath Nathalie Ducrest Jennifer Epstein Elizabeth Erdreich-White David Feinberg John Foster Erica Gervais Lev Glazman Margaret Hunt Nathaniel Jeppson Charla Jones Nada Kane Christopher Kaneb Matthew Kozol Barbara Krakow Stephen Kunian Ron Lawner Barbara Lloyd Kent Lucken Dan Mathieu 95

Travis McCready Frank McGrail Mark Minelli Richard Miner Dell Mitchell Robert Nagle Sandra L. Nanberg Michael Nedeau Shelly Nemirovsky Ron Nordin Nikki Nudelman Marlene Persky Timothy Phillips Stephen Prostano Bryan Rafanelli Dana Rashti Jean Rhodes Alison Akin Righter Murray Robinson Sherry Robinson Abigail Ross-Goodman Holly Safford B.J. Salter Arnold Sapenter Rachel Somer Formela Peter Sonnabend Edith Springer Caroline Taggart Sandra Urie Heather Wells Gwill York Nicole Zatlyn, Chair As of September 2011

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston 100 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA 02210, USA All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by an means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any other storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers.

Lucy Flint Purtill Family Business with Sara Hartman PRINTER The Avery Group at Shapco Printing, Inc., Minneapolis EDITOR


This publication is made possible through the generous support of Susan Ricci and Ted Stebbins, Ann and Marvin Collier, Niki and Alan Friedberg, and Karen and Michael Rotenberg. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is proud to be the Celebration Sponsor for the ICA’s 75th Anniversary.

Cover: Installation view of Art Wall 3: Ugo Rondinone, Clockwork of Oracles, 2008.



A brief history of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, from 1936 to 2011.