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ICA Miami Opens New Permanent Home on December 1, 2017


Special Exhibitions, Large-Scale and Site-Specific Commissions, and Highlights from Permanent Collection Launch New Museum Building in Miami Design District

Special Exhibitions, Large-Scale and Site-Specific Commissions, and Highlights from Permanent Collection Launch New Museum Building in Miami Design District

The Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA Miami) opens the doors to its new permanent home in the Miami Design District on December 1, 2017. Marking the first U.S. project designed by Spanish firm Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos, the new 37,500-square-foot building launches with a bold inaugural program that reflects the museum’s mission of championing new narratives in contemporary art and providing a platform for the exchange of art and ideas. With more than double the gallery space and a new outdoor sculpture garden, ICA Miami’s new home enables the museum to present ambitious thematic surveys for the first time in its history, as well as to expand its commitment to mounting monographic presentations of emerging talent, commissioning site-specific and boundary-pushing works of art, and fostering new scholarship.

“We are thrilled to unveil ICA Miami’s new permanent home and to sustain our commitment to free general admission, inviting the entire community to engage with our dynamic inaugural program,” said Ellen Salpeter, Director of ICA Miami. “Our new building enables us expand the diverse spectrum of exhibitions, and public and educational programs, offered year-round—from ambitious thematic exhibitions and major site-specific installations and commissions, to workshops designed for teens and youth, to seminars for graduate students, to talks and activities that engage the general public in contemporary art and ideas. Showcasing a range of artistic voices and perspectives, our programming seeks to foster cross-cultural dialogue and the exchange of ideas on local, national, and international levels.”

Highlights of the inaugural program include The Everywhere Studio, the museum’s first-ever thematic survey and most ambitious exhibition to date, tracing the impact and influence of the artist’s studio from post-war to the present day. Focused solo exhibitions of work by Edward and Nancy Kienholz, Senga Nengudi, and Hélio Oiticica bring to light significant periods of each artist’s work and provide renewed understandings of their practices. An installation dedicated to Robert Gober, showcasing works on long-term loan from Irma and Norman Braman, and exhibitions of newly commissioned paintings by Chris Ofili and emerging Miami-based artist Tomm El-Saieh are also on view. The museum’s outdoor sculpture garden features sculpture by George Segal, on loan from Miami-based collector Martin Z. Margulies, alongside large-scale installations and site-specific commissions by Allora & Calzadilla, Abigail DeVille, Pedro Reyes, and Miami-based artist Mark Handforth.

“The inaugural program of the new ICA Miami represents an expansion of the depth and breadth of our programmatic approach,” said Alex Gartenfeld, Deputy Director and Chief Curator. “The Everywhere Studio exemplifies the thematic surveys that we now have the space to mount, which explore critical topics in contemporary practice through the work of today’s leading artists and their predecessors. These exhibitions, in addition to solo presentations of rarely exhibited bodies of work, are key examples of ICA Miami’s commitment to bringing fresh perspectives to our understanding of contemporary art, fostering dialogue, and expanding scholarship in the field. The inaugural program also represents the global and local voices represented in ICA Miami’s programs, from renowned Trinidad-based artist Chris Ofili, to emerging Miami-based artist Tomm El-Saieh.”

Situated in the heart of the city’s historic design district, the new ICA Miami creates an integrated and transparent environment in which visitors can encounter and experience the museum’s varied artistic programming, both indoors and out. Visitors approach the museum from the south, encountering a façade of interlocking metal triangles and lighted panels. Entering the museum’s main lobby, visitors may either turn into the first-floor galleries, or walk through an enclosed breezeway to the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden, which houses a rotating series of long-term installations and commissions. The interior of the museum includes 20,000 square feet of adjustable gallery spaces across three floors that respond to the diversity of artist installations, exhibitions, and performances that ICA Miami presents, as well as increased space for educational and community programming. A curtain wall of windows on the museum’s northern façade brings natural light into the museum’s galleries and allows visitors to take in views of the sculpture garden and the surrounding cityscape.


On December 1, 2017, ICA Miami debuts its inaugural program, including special exhibitions, site-specific installations and commissions, works from its collection, and long-term loans. Full details on the program follow below.

Ground-Floor Galleries

The museum’s six ground-floor galleries feature a combination of long-term and rotating special exhibitions, including commissions and highlights from the permanent collection, as well as presentations that spotlight under-recognized bodies of work by pioneering artists. Exhibitions include:

  • The first museum presentation of Wet Night—Early Dawn—Scat Chant—Pilgrim’s Song (1996) by Senga Nengudi, a conceptual artist operating at the intersection of performance and sculpture. While Nengudi is most often associated with her work of the late 1960s and 1970s, this lesser-known series from the 1990s represents a pivotal advancement in the artist’s innovative approach to material and offers important insight into her current practice. Building upon the themes and forms that characterize her work of previous decades, Nengudi is reprising this historic series for her ICA Miami exhibition, on view in the Janice and Alan Lipton Gallery, and adding new elements to create sculptures ranging from garments to abstract anthropomorphic compositions.
  • A focused presentation of 1980s works by Edward and Nancy Kienholz, demonstrating the artists’ explorations of gender identity in a contemporary, new-media society. On view in the Arlene H. and Laurans A. Mendelson Gallery, the exhibition features a series of found-object tableaux that incorporate photography, television screens, and mirrors, and is anchored by a major work from ICA Miami’s permanent collection, The Soup Course at the She-She Café (1982), as well as by significant loans of related works from Nancy Reddin Kienholz and the Betty and Monte Factor Family Collection.
  • Hélio Oiticica: Bólides, an exhibition of interactive works from the late 1960s by the Brazilian artist that represent a significant transitional period in his practice. With the Bólides series, Oiticica began experimenting with new geometrical arrangements and materials, moving away from the visual language of concrete art and Geometric Abstraction to works that intervened directly in everyday life. On view in the Barbara Z. and Sam Herzberg Family Gallery, the series offers insight into the trajectory of Oiticica’s practice, as well as a precedent for the participatory tendencies that would come to characterize contemporary art in later decades.
  • A presentation of two signature bodies of work by influential artist Robert Gober. The first is an untitled series of 22 photographs: the earliest images document a road trip made by the artist between New York and Long Island in 1978, while photographs from 2000 depict debris washed up on a pebble beach. Together, they offer a satirical view of the American government and society, and highlight the inequalities and limitations encountered based on one’s sexual orientation and race. The photographic series is installed alongside one of Gober’s iconic untitled drain works from 1993–94, which references domesticity and personal hygiene, as well as broader sociopolitical themes. On loan from the collection of ICA Miami Board Co-Chair Irma Braman and her husband Norman Braman, the photographs and drain have rarely been exhibited publicly and are on view in the Kadre Family Gallery.
  • A newly commissioned, large-scale installation, created by internationally renowned artist Chris Ofili, on view in the Dr. Shulamit Katzman Gallery. Over the course of nearly two years, the artist will return to ICA Miami to make additions to the work, reflecting changes to the artist’s process and perspective over time.
  • A series of four new paintings by Haitian-born, Miami-based artist Tomm El-Saieh, inaugurating ICA Miami’s signature project space. Dedicated to providing a platform for emerging and under-recognized artists from around the world early in their careers, the Ray Ellen and Allan Yarkin Gallery features commissions of site-specific or experimental works and rotates three times per year. For El-Saieh’s solo museum debut, the artist created a suite of new paintings that explore the connections between abstraction and the Haitian tradition of spiritual painting.

Sculpture Garden

Serving as the museum’s central gathering space, ICA Miami’s new Petra and Stephen Levin Sculpture Garden showcases an annual schedule of major sculptural works by post-war and contemporary artists, including large-scale commissions created for the museum. To inaugurate the 15,000-square-foot sculpture garden, ICA Miami presents three major site-specific commissions, as well as a long-term loan to the collection, including:

  • Three Figures and Four Benches (1979), a sculpture by renowned Pop artist George Segal, whose figurative works in steel and plaster explore the human figure as it relates to the surrounding environment. The sculpture is on long-term loan from the Martin Z. Margulies Collection.
  • A new, large-scale installation by internationally acclaimed artist duo Allora & Calzadilla, hailing from Puerto Rico and recognized for their radical approach to sculpture. Introducing a new line of inquiry for the artists but incorporating their signature use of machinery, Unfulfilled Promise (2017) explores how the United States’ policies toward the Caribbean have impacted and defined the social, economic, and political realities in the region and its diaspora, many of whom are based in Miami. The central feature of the work is a crane owned by Guillermo Calzadilla’s father, whose once-thriving construction business in Puerto Rico has halted since the departure of major companies from Puerto Rico in the early 2000s.
  • A bent telephone pole-star sculpture by Mark Handforth, marking the first public commission presented in Miami by the locally based artist. On view in the sculpture garden, Dr. Pepper embodies the artist’s signature use of industrial materials and Pop iconography.
  • Let Our Voices Rise in Song, a new work by Bronx-born artist Abigail DeVille that uses the iconography of the Diamond Star and Jacob Lawrence to reflect on Miami’s rich and diverse social history of immigration. DeVille is known for multimedia installations that involve deep social engagement and historical investigation.
  • Epicurus (2016) by Pedro Reyes, from ICA Miami’s permanent collection, forms part of a recent series in which the artist uses large volcanic stone to create sculptures that pay homage to some of the great minds of global culture since the Classical age in Greece. Based in Mexico City, Reyes’ large-scale installations, sculptures, performances, and videos investigate current sociopolitical issues and explore the power of individual and collective organization to inspire social change.

Stairway Commission

The first in an annual rotation of site-specific commissions that animate the museum’s Margot and George Greig Stairway and its main passageway between the second and third floors, a dramatic two-story installation by Charles Gaines activates the vertical cantilevers of ICA Miami’s central stairway. Gaines’ practice places him within the legacy of Conceptualism, evidenced by works such as his gridded, serial images of trees painted on Plexiglas. The site-specific installation explores the artist’s application of seriality on a massive scale.

Special Exhibition Galleries

The museum’s second and third floors are dedicated to a rotating series of special exhibitions that explore current themes in contemporary art through the work of today’s pioneering artists, often presented in dialogue with post-war masters. The Everywhere Studio is the first exhibition to inaugurate the galleries, on view December 1, 2017 through February 26, 2018.

Encompassing some 100 works in painting, sculpture, video, and installation, The Everywhere Studio brings together over 50 artists from the past five decades to reveal the artist’s studio as a charged site that has both predicted and responded to broader social and economic changes of our time. Through a combination of post-war artists through emerging practitioners—including Pablo Picasso, Yves Klein, Philip Guston, Bruce Nauman, Carolee Schneemann, Dieter Roth, Andy Warhol, Martin Kippenberger, Rosemarie Trockel, Elaine Sturtevant, Anna Oppermann, Joyce Pensato, Andrea Zittel, and Tetsumi Kudo, among others—the exhibition aims to create intergenerational dialogues that enhance understanding of the most innovative artists working today.

From the studio as a site of labor; to one that blurs production, performance, and spectacle; to a concept that defines the artist’s own identity; the exhibition examines the work of artists who, in response to changing socioeconomic influences, represented new modes of working and living that would subsequently spread across society. Newly commissioned works by Neïl Beloufa, Jana Euler, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Margaret Honda, and Yuri Pattison, conclude the exhibition with current reflections on our digital age and the impact of technology on society.