At the recommendation of the University of Pennsylvania to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, ICA is now temporarily closed to the public until further notice. All public events taking place at the museum through April 17 have been canceled. ICA staff will have remote office hours Monday through Friday, 9AM to 6PM. You may experience some delays with publication orders and archival requests. We thank you in advance for your patience.
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Through May 10, 2020

Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades

Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades, 2019, installation view, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania. Photo by: Constance Mensh.

In Ballast & Barricades Michelle Lopez employs a formal, fragmented architectural language to critique symbols of nationalism, power, and consumption. Known for her sculptural works that recast histories of minimalism and everyday objects through a feminist lens, in this exhibition Lopez brings together a selection of recent sculptures alongside a monumental, site-specific installation that creates a suspended cityscape reduced to rubble. Here, blockades, borders, flags, and natural elements bleed together while remnants of construction sites and scaffolding create a delicate system of counterweights and counterbalances—all meticulously crafted by hand. For Lopez, this sculptural terrain is suggestive of an ongoing history of bodies and violence in the absence of figuration. It is an urban landscape fabricated out of the material remains of crisis, teetering on the brink of collapse.

— Alex Klein, Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Curator

Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades is organized by Alex Klein, Dorothy and Stephen R. Weber (CHE’60) Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated publication.

Michelle Lopez (b. 1970; lives Philadelphia) has been included in solo and group exhibitions at venues including the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT; LAXART, Los Angeles; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY; the Public Art Fund, Metrotech Center, NY; and the Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana, CA. Formerly a faculty member at Yale School of Art, she now heads the Sculpture Division at the Fine Arts Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Stuart Weitzman School of Design. In 2019 she was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.


Programming support for Michelle Lopez: Ballast & Barricades has been provided by the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, and support for the catalogue publication has been provided by the Daniel W. Dietrich II Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Linda & Jeffrey Chodorow, Carol & John Finley, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Marjorie & Michael Levine, Amanda & Andrew Megibow, B.Z. & Michael Schwartz, Meredith & Bryan Verona, and by Caroline & Daniel Werther.

Installation Views
Thu, Feb 6, 2020, 6:30PM–8PM
Weitzman Lecture: Michelle Lopez
Sun, Oct 20, 2019, 1PM–2PM
Pennsight Drop-In Tour led by Kyle Whiting