Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946 - 1968 is the first book devoted to the early years of the ICA
by art historian Anne Massey and Gregor Muir. Each section provides an overview of key ICA personalities and events, interspersed with a more detailed analysis of 24 key exhibitions. From Picasso and Parallel of Life and Art to Francis Bacon and The Popular Image, this book combines a wealth of images with first class research and an approachable writing style. It also includes scans of original material from the archives, many previously unpublished and regarded as ephemera until now.
Dedicated to the first twenty years of the ICA, the driving force behind Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946 - 1968 is one of its best-known luminaries Richard Hamilton. The timing of this publication is connected to three related events, two of which directly concern this remarkable artist. The first is Tate Moderns 2014 Hamilton retrospective, a comprehensive survey show held in the wake of the artists passing in 2011. The second is a parallel exhibition, organised by the ICA to coincide with Tates retrospective, which is dedicated to two of Hamiltons seminal early installations Man Machine and Motion (1955) and an Exhibit (1957). The third is an ICA Off-Site project, a takeover of Dover Street Market, former home of the ICA. The London home of avant-garde ideas and practice for nearly 60 years, the book is divided into three sections, which situate its three locations: the pop-up space of the Academy Cinema basement; the curious, upstairs rooms at Dover Street, and the Regency splendor of the Mall.
"In its comprehensive detail, Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946 - 1968 is unprecedented. During an early planning meeting we decided against commissioning an index believing it to be a chronological directory in and of itself. What we wanted was a book that would animate a period of the ICAs history, which for many might be obscured from view. Reviewing recent ICA literature, it would appear that one of the hallmarks of such a progressive institution is its eagerness to do away with the rear-view mirror and press on. But if we pause for a moment, we discover an extraordinary legacy, unparalleled in terms of how a single organisation would promote the cause of contemporary art and culture in Britain. Gregor Muir, Executive Director ICA
The supporting text explains the vision behind the exhibitions, the supporting events, critical reception and impact. From 40 Years of Modern Art through to Cybernetic Serendipity, the ICA provided a crucial space for experimentation and for the development of key artists careers, including Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi. Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946 - 1968 makes a vital contribution to the history and understanding of modern art.
Anne Massey is Professor of Design at Middlesex University. She studied at the University of Northumbria (then Newcastle Polytechnic) for a BA (Hons) History of Modern Art and Design and then a PhD on The Independent Group: Towards a Redefinition, awarded in 1984. She has since taught art history at a broad range of universities and colleges, including Goldsmiths College, RCA and Chelsea College of Art and Design. She has supervised seven MPhil/PhDs to completion and examined ten on aspects of twentieth century visual culture, including Edward Wright, Richard Hamilton and The Unknown Political Prisoner Exhibition. She is currently supervising seven, including an AHRC funded CDA with the National Maritime Museum, and a Middlesex University funded CDA with the ICA. She is the founding editor of the academic journal, Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture, published by Berg since 2010. She has written seven single authored books and co-edited three, as well as contributing to three edited collections. She has researched and lectured widely on the subject of the Independent Group, including The Independent Group: Modernism and Mass Culture, 1945-59 (Manchester University Press, 1995) and Out of the Ivory Tower: the Independent Group and Popular Culture (Manchester University Press, 2013). She has contributed work on the Independent Group and the history of the ICA to Block, The Burlington Magazine, Art and Artists and Art Monthly. She co-curated the exhibition, Parallel of Art & Life: the Independent Group at the ICA, 2013. She has also organised three conferences on the Independent Group, at the Tate Britain (2007) with Victoria Walsh and Nigel Whiteley and at the ICA (2012 and 2013). The 2012 conference provided the basis for The Independent Group Issue, journal of visual culture, August 2013, edited by Massey. Her research has been funded by the AHRC, British Academy, HEFCE, Paul Mellon and IHR/Scouloudi Foundation.
Gregor Muir was appointed the Executive Director of the ICA in early 2011. Since then he has overseen a programme featuring exhibitions by Pablo Bronstein, Jacob Kassay, Lis Rhodes, Bruce Nauman, Bjarne Melgaard, Juergen Teller, Bernadette Corporation and Zhang Enli as well as projects like ICA Off-Site: A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now and ICA Cinema on the Steps. He has also instituted a dedicated talks programme that includes ICA Quickfires and the Culture Now series that has featured artists including Lynda Benglis, Tracey Emin, Liam Gillick, Christian Marclay and Michael Landy to name a few. From 2004 - 2011, Gregor was Director of Hauser & Wirth, London, organising exhibitions in London, Zurich and New York with artists such as Francis Picabia, Louise Bourgeois, and Wilhelm Sasnal, as well as artists like Zhang Enli and Jakub Julian Ziolkowski. Gregor worked as the Kramlich Curator of Contemporary Art at Tate where he curated the first moving image show 'Time Zones' at Tate Modern, and 'In-a-Gadda-da-Vida' with Damien Hirst, Angus Fairhurst and Sarah Lucas at Tate Britain, both in 2004. He also worked on film and video acquisitions for Tate Collections, and curated several displays of contemporary art from the Tate collection including a special focus on Robert Morris 1971 infamous Millbank exhibition and Carl Andres Equivalent series. In 1997, He founded the Lux Gallery in Hoxton Square, Shoreditch, which featured exhibitions by Kutlug Ataman, Carsten Höller and Jane & Louise Wilson. In the same year, he co-curated 'Assuming Positions' at the ICA, which included works by Tobias Rehberger and Piotr Uklanski, as well as curating pioneering programmes of film and video art. In 1994 he curated the exhibition 'Liar', featuring works by Cerith Wyn Evans and Jake & Dinos Chapman, and in 1993 he worked on the group show 'Lucky Kunst', featuring Gary Hume and Sam Taylor-Wood, which would later inspire a book of the same name documenting the 90's London art scene.