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ICA Boston Marks Progressive Development of its Collection with Exhibition
Roe Ethridge, Holly at Marlow and Sons, 2004, C-print, 30 x 24 in. (76.2 x 61 cm), Edition of 5, Promised gift of Beth and Richard Marcus, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston.
BOSTON, MA.- In the Making is the fourth installation of the ICA Collection, which debuted in 2006 with the opening of the waterfront museum. The new exhibition marks the progressive development of the collection’s scope and depth with a focus on artistic approaches to process and medium. Rooms of photography, sculpture and painting offer insights into the decisions artists make to create transformative works of art. For the first time, an entire room in the Collection galleries is devoted to three decades of work by a single artist: the powerful paintings of Marlene Dumas.

The new installation of the Collection presents diverse photographic works, including recent acquisitions: From Here to Maternity (1986-2000),Nan Goldin’s assemblage of 24 candid photographs that capture the archetypal mother and child relationship, and Roe Ethridge’s posed portrait of a model perfect woman, Holly at Marlow and Sons (2004). These images point to classically composed subjects, but feel vaguely familiar, like a snapshot in a family album or an ad in a magazine. Including major works by Philip-Lorca diCorcia and Cindy Sherman, the exhibition reveals a wide range of photographic practices—from raw and candid to highly conceptual and constructed.

Artists in the Collection also apply singular attention to materials to create surprising sculptural forms. On view for the first time in the ICA Collection galleries, Tara Donovan’s Nebulous (2008) is a floor installation that suggests a low rolling mist but is actually an airy weave of Scotch tape. This accumulation of an everyday material assumes a delicate, fragile beauty distinct from Cornelia Parker’s dynamic suspended installation of charred wood, Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson) (1999) or the glistening stack of collapsing sugar cubes in Kader Attia’s video Oil and Sugar #2 (2007). While each artist draws on ordinary materials to create their work, their intentions range between formal, narrative, and political considerations.

This exhibition includes a gallery devoted to the emotionally-charged paintings of Marlene Dumas, whose arresting images are often inspired by newspaper and magazine clippings she collects, as well as personal snapshots. The Messengers (1992) is a powerful meditation on the cycles of life, relating to the artist’s experiences and fears as a parent. Jule-die Vrou (1985) is a striking larger than life-sized portrait, whose face is partially obscured by vibrant red paint. Her works on paper, including German Witch as well as Miss World Competition, further examine Dumas’ focus on single and serial figures awash in color.

ICA Boston | Marlene Dumas | Nan Goldin | Cornelia Parker | Tara Donovan | German |


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