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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Apr 2, 2014
Baptism by Fire: A Cup of Tea with Suzanne Delehanty
Suzanne Delehanty was a graduate student studying ancient art at Penn when she happened to run into her college art history professor, Stephen Prokopoff, and his wife. This was in the late 1960s. Prokopoff had just taken over as director of the four-year-old ICA. At the end of their chat, Prokopoff’s wife turned to Delehanty…
Mar 20, 2014
No Turning Back: The Anthony Elms Tour of the Whitney Biennial
We turn the corner, traverse the passageway, and plunge into the dark. Anthony’s voice drifts toward us: “The longer you’re up here, it’s amazing how much you can start to see going on,” he says as our eyes slowly adjust. “On a bright day, the sky is on the floor. It becomes a bright cerulean…
Mar 6, 2014
Famous You: Alina Grabowski on “Three Stanzas”
Editor’s note: Last summer, when I learned ICA would celebrate its 50th birthday with exhibitions responding to shows from the museum’s past, I thought it would be great to get writers to respond to our history too. I invited poets, fiction writers, and essayists at various stages of their careers to write a new piece…
Feb 21, 2014
Going All Out: Kara Walker and Ruffneck Constructivists
Robert and I are standing by the elevator when one of the interns stops to talk about the baloney wall. “Baloney wall?” I ask. “I’ll show you,” Robert says. We take the elevator down to ICA’s first floor galleries, where Pat, a member of the installation crew, is painting the top half of an enormous…
Feb 9, 2014
Gardening with Words: Ian Hamilton Finlay
“Everyone thinks of a garden as a retreat, but it’s really a form of attack,” John Dixon Hunt says, quoting the Scottish poet, artist, gardener, and publisher Ian Hamilton Finlay. Finlay was also, at one time or another, shepherd, soldier, provocateur, Turner prize nominee, and subject of the book, Nature Over Again, written by Hunt,…
Feb 9, 2014
Doing the Minimum: A Visit to Penn’s Rare Book Conservation Lab
“You don’t want to make an object new and shiny,” Sibylla says. “You want to make it safe and available, but also honor how it was made.” She has laid an old Japanese map across the table in the conservation lab, a modest room on the fifth floor of Penn’s enormous Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center.…
Jan 3, 2014
More: First Steps on the Rhoades Road
Editor’s Note: As Jason Rhoades, Four Roads closes, we take a look back at the show’s beginnings. This post was written in 2010 but not published until now.* The artist Jason Rhoades, who died in 2006 at the age of forty-one, made really big busy stuff— installations mostly—with big busy names like and More Moor…
Jan 2, 2014
CITYWIDE: Capturing Philadelphia’s Community
“Everything in the show is an object from the space,” says Philadelphia artist Dietrich Meyer. “Everything except the screws, the tar paper walls, and the panels that went to make the Ziggurat.” Dietrich is talking about Afterlife, a show that sprawled through artist collective Vox Populi’s galleries last November with a backlit, three-tiered black tower…
Dec 12, 2013
Worlds Within Worlds: Raul Romero
The strangest thing about watching this preliminary version of Raul’s video is that Ingrid, who is featured in it, is sitting here watching too, so that one has the feeling of worlds within worlds, of Russian nesting dolls. This seems right, though, for a video about ICA’s exhibition Jason Rhoades, Four Roads as you stand…
Dec 12, 2013
Cake: ICA Turns 50
In ICA’s kitchen, Robert puts down his frosting palette knife and looks at the cake. “It would be great if we could make little spider lines coming out of that part,” he says. On the counter, the Clyfford Still catalogue is open to a painting called 1948-S. Nearby, its reproduction—in frosting on an enormous cake—is…