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Anne Massey: new book on ICA early years

Anne Massey: new book on ICA early years

Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946-196

Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946 - 1968 is the first book devoted to the early years of the ICA by art historian Anne Massey and ICA Executive Director Gregor Muir.

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.

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. The supporting text explains the vision behind the exhibitions, the supporting events, critical reception and impact.

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 research, archive material and images, many of which are published here for the first time.

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 Modern’s 2014 Hamilton retrospective, a comprehensive survey show held in the wake of the artist’s passing in 2011. The second is a parallel exhibition, organised by the ICA to coincide with Tate’s retrospective, which is dedicated to two of Hamilton’s 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 splendour of the Mall.

 

Title: Institute of Contemporary Arts: 1946 - 1968
Authors: Anne Massey and Gregor Muir
Editorial Assistance: Lucy Bayley, Juliette Desorgues
Copy-editing: Clare Heath
Publisher: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
Co-publisher: Roma Publications, Amsterdam
International distribution: IDEA books
ISBN: 978-94-91843-13-6
Publication date: 10 February 2014
Price: £20 hardback
Extent: 208 pages
Size: 19.5 x 26cm

The book is available to purchase at Dover Street Market, ICA Bookshop and on the ICA website.

 

PRESS

Review of Institute of Contemporary Arts 1946 - 1968 / by Jessica Kelly / Architectural Review / 9 June 2014:

"This book, a review of the first 22 years of the Institute, emphasises its ‘restless’ character. Gregor Muir, the current executive director, in his foreword describes the ICA as ‘possessing a unique slipperiness that … eludes stasis’. However the book is part of an effort by the Institute to make sense of the ‘slipperiness’ of its history.

Rather than telling a story of the progression of British art, Massey explores the ICA’s place in the broader cultural context of postwar London."

 
Coverage of ICA's Dover Street Market exhibition and publication on Wallpaper / March issue 2014:

Read the Telegraph reveiw of the book:

Read the review on Mousse Magazine: