The ICA supports radical art and culture. Through a vibrant programme of exhibitions, films, events, talks and debates, the ICA challenges perceived notions and stimulates debate, experimentation, creativity and exchange with visitors. Founded in 1946 by a group of artists, collectors and critics including Roland Penrose, Peter Watson and Herbert Read, the ICA continues to support artists in showing and exploring their work, often as it emerges and before others.
The ICA has been at the forefront of cultural experimentation since its formation and has presented important debut solo shows by artists including Damien Hirst, Mary Kelly, Steve McQueen, Richard Prince, Fiona Rae and Luc Tuymans. More recently Tauba Auerbach, Neïl Beloufa, Pablo Bronstein, Zhang Enli, Lis Rhodes, Bjarne Melgaard, Hito Steyerl and Juergen Teller have all staged key solo exhibitions, while a new generation of artists, including NTS, Hannah Sawtell and Factory Floor have taken part in exhibitions and residencies.
Recent collaborations include BookMarc & Louis Vuitton Maison Librarie as part of Room&Book, a three day art book fair; Russian menswear designer Gosha Rubchinskiy for a Culture Now talk and book signing; as well as numerous talks and presentations by talents including Nick Knight, NTS/Cottweiler (SS15) and a soundscape by FKA twigs. The ICA was one of the first venues to present The Clash and The Smiths, as well as bands such as Throbbing Gristle.
The inaugural ICA/LUX Biennial of Moving Images was launched in 2012, and the ICA Cinemas continue to screen artists’ film, support independent releases and partner with leading film festivals. The ICA has recently developed an ambitious Off-Site programme starting with a display of BMW Art Cars in a multi-storey car park as part of the London 2012 Festival. Thereafter, the ICA supported presentations at Glastonbury Festival and Latitude, as well as an outdoor film season Cinema on The Steps: Contemporary Middle Eastern Film. Taking place at The Old Selfridges Hotel, A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now was followed by a project with Art on the Underground and its Canary Wharf Screen.
In 2014 collaborations included Comme des Garçons with an off-site exhibition at Dover Street Market, which is where the ICA was originally based between 1950–1968, and The Old Selfridges Hotel in autumn for a week of live events to coincide with Frieze London, including performances with New York-based artist Korakrit Arunanondchai and Berlin-based artist Isabel Lewis.
The ICA welcomes over 500,000 visitors a year to its home on The Mall in the heart of London. The Director of the ICA is writer and curator Gregor Muir, author of Lucky Kunst.
The Institute of Contemporary Arts is a registered charity, number: 236848, and a company limited by guarantee, registration number: 00444351. ICA Enterprises Limited is a company limited by shares, number: 01461527.