Institute of Contemporary Arts
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Tickets & information
020 7930 3647
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020 7930 6393
020 7766 1452
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The Institute of Contemporary Arts is a public playground for presenting challenging work across the arts and for forging innovative ways of thinking about culture.
Monday & Tuesday - closed
Wednesday - noon - 11pm
Thursday - Saturday - noon - 1am
Sunday - noon - 9pm
All exhibitions are FREE.
A £1.20 booking fee applies to some live music events.
How to get to the ICA:
The ICA is on the Mall, at the foot of the Duke of York steps, 3 minutes from Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square.
Temporary collections are displayed throughout the year in three gallery spaces and public areas of the ICA.
A wide range of films are shown daily on two cinema screens.
Regular live performances, music events and clubnights take place in the Theatre and Bar.
An exciting range of talks, debates and discussions on everything from science to politics features on the monthly programme.
Interactive exhibitions, chatrooms, digital art, all in the New Media Centre.
Plus: education programme, private hires, Crporate hospitality, Bookshop, Bar and Cafe.
Architecture, Costume and Textiles, Design, Film and Media, Fine Art, Literature, Music, Performing Arts, Photography, Science and Technology
Key artists and exhibits
- Annual Becks Futures art prize
- Recent exhibtions include work by Mike Nelson, M/M, Philippe Parreno, Francois Roche, Pierre Huyghe, L.A. Raeven & Annika Larsson, de Rijke / de Rooij, Fergus Greer, Richard Kern and Lothar Hempel.
The Independent Group: Parallel of Art & Life
To coincide with the 60th anniversary of the ground-breaking exhibition Parallel of Life & Art, this exhibition presents original art works by the Independent Group.
The Independent Group met at the original ICA in Dover Street from 1952-5 and comprised architects Alison and Peter Smithson, James Stirling and Colin St John Wilson
artists Magda Cordell, Richard Hamilton, Nigel Henderson, John McHale, Eduardo Paolozzi and William Turnbull
music producer Frank Cordell and writers Lawrence Alloway, Reyner Banham and Toni del Renzio. Celebrated today as the so-called Fathers of Pop, the Group worked with art, science, technology and popular culture. From horror films to theories of evolution, modern architecture to Marilyn Monroe, this group project worked beyond traditional boundaries and conventional disciplinary areas.
The exhibitions organised by the group – Growth & Form
Parallel of Life & Art
Man, Machine & Motion and sections of This is Tomorrow – were highly innovative, both in terms of layout and the range of objects displayed. Building on the ICA’s Surrealist legacy, the Independent Group shows introduced the new age of modernity and mass culture to the gallery space. Reflecting the Group’s collage mentality, new technology and high end design were juxtaposed with avant-garde art.
Unlike other London venues, "none provided a foyer, a hearth which the artists and his audience can gather in unanimity, in fellowship, in mutual understanding and inspiration", stated Herbert Read in the exhibition catalogue 40 Years of Modern Art. Even before the Group was assembled by Assistant Director Dorothy Morland, members gravitated to the ICA as the only place to see and discuss modern art and modern culture. Hamilton, Paolozzi and Turnbull exhibited at the Dover Street inaugural exhibition, 1950: Aspects of British Art and continued their involvement throughout the 1950s and 1960s, curating a wide range of public exhibitions and events, underpinned by clandestine discussions and gatherings.
The ICA exhibition will include paintings, drawings and photographs by John McHale, Magda Cordell, Nigel Henderson, Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton, alongside related designed objects and ephemera from the Independent Group. Evoking the ICA’s original home in Dover Street in the 1950s, the exhibition will be designed to give viewers a sense of ‘The Home of the Avant Garde’ which first attracted this collection of creative practitioners.
In addition the exhibition will be accompanied by a two day conference which will bring together leading researchers, practitioners and curators who are working on aspects of the Independent Group. The aim will be to consider ways in which the Independent Group have been, and continue to be, exhibited. Participants will share their knowledge and approaches to this seminal moment in the history of British art and architecture at a very timely moment when the history of the Independent Group has come under increased scrutiny internationally.
Bernadette Corporation: 2000 Wasted Years
Bernadette Corporation's first UK retrospective, this exhibition presents works authored by the group since their inception in the early '90s.
Beginning with the organisation of parties in downtown New York, their mock incorporation and ambiguous branding strategies developed between 1995 and 1997 into a women’s fashion line, engaging in quotation, provocation, hoaxes, and anti-artistic postures of crass commercialism.
Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper)
Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) explores how artists since the 1940s to the present day have used drawing to address ideas critical and current to their time, ranging from the politics of gender and sexuality to feminist issues, war, censorship and race. Stretching from fashion to erotica, the works can all be viewed as being in some way transgressive, employing traditional and commercial drawing techniques to challenge specific social, political or stylistic conventions.
The exhibition brings together the work of eight artists: Judith Bernstein, Tom of Finland, George Grosz, Margaret Harrison, Mike Kuchar, Cary Kwok, Antonio Lopez and Marlene McCarty.
Curated by Sarah McCrory, the exhibition draws on the way artists turned to the commercial realms of comics, fashion and illustration to revitalise drawing within the visual arts - many of the works in Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) were originally produced for a commercial context. One common aspect of these varied practices is a high level of technical skill - these are artists who often confounded critics of their subject matter unable to condemn their technique. Choosing to step outside the boundaries of social acceptability, the works in Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper) comprise modest proposals and trenchant political gestures.
Points of Departure
Points of Departure features new commissions resulting from six residencies in London and Ramallah by British and Palestinian artists: Jumana Emil Abboud, Bashar Alhroub, Bisan Abu Eisheh, Jeremy Hutchison, Olivia Plender, and Nathan Witt. Devised with two curators-in-residence, Mirna Bamieh and Rebecca Heald, the works in Points of Departure are a thoughtful exploration of the anthropological concept of liminality. From the Latin word l?men, meaning ‘a threshold’, liminality is a condition in which one’s sense of identity is diffused, leading not only to states of dislocation and disorientation, but also to the possibility of new perspectives. Residencies can also be understood as a ‘liminal’ state between time and place. But what happens when the liminality of the residency is entwined with a place like Palestine, which is defined by its own political ambiguity and contestation?
In the face of globalisation, but without succumbing to false universalism, all Points of Departure artists undertook varieties of research to reveal a range of partial truths. In this exhibition they are presented in different mediums including performance, video, installation, drawings, and intervention.
Following the presentation of the first outcomes of Points of Departure in Ramallah in January and February 2013, the exhibition travels in an expanded form to the ICA, as one of the highlights of the 2013 Shubbak Festival in London.