|I C A N E W S R E L E A S E|
Contact: Jill Katz
Director of Marketing & Communications
Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania
118 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3289
Tel. (215) 898-7108/5911
Fax: (215) 898-5050
ICA Spring 2004 Exhibitions
The Big Nothing
Yun-Fei Ji: The East Wind
May 1-August 1, 2004
Opening Reception and Gallery Tours Friday, April 30, 5-8pm
For Immediate Release
March 1, 2004
Philadelphia, PA - The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) is pleased to announce three new exhibitions as it continues its celebration of 40 seasons of internationally recognized exhibitions and programming. In the main galleries, ICA presents "The Big Nothing," a major group exhibition exploring themes of nothing and nothingness in contemporary art. Filling both main gallery spaces, the exhibition will include over sixty artists' works from the 1970s to the present. ICA's exhibition "The Big Nothing" also initiates a Philadelphia-wide constellation of music, art, film, and talks independently organized by 36 venues throughout Philadelphia.
In the ICA Project Space, Brooklyn-based Chinese artist Yun-Fei Ji will create an installation of paintings, printed matter and preparatory sketches. Entitled "The East Wind," the assemblage of sources and media, built around three of his ink-on-paper figured landscape drawings, details the research poured into these three works, and unpacks the turbulent events detailed therein.
In the ICA Ramp Project, Judy Pfaff will create the sixth installation in this ongoing commission series. From paint, plastic, glass, metal, wood, found objects, fabric, resin, steel-anything that comes to hand-Pfaff crafts environments into spiky vortexes of pictorial abstraction. A pioneer of site-specific installation since the 1970's, Pfaff has consistently redefined how art responds to and incorporates its surroundings.
Exhibition Walkthroughs will begin on Friday, April 30 at 5pm. The opening reception follows from 6-8pm. ICA is open to the public, except during installation, from 12pm to 8pm on Wednesday through Friday and from 11am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for students over 12, artists, and senior citizens; and free to ICA members, children 12 and under, PENN cardholders, and on Sundays from 11am to 1pm. For more information, call 215-898-5911/7108, or visit www.icaphila.org.
Following are brief descriptions of each exhibition. Complete releases available by request.
The Big Nothing
"The Big Nothing," is a major group exhibition exploring themes of nothing and nothingness in contemporary art. Filling both main gallery spaces, the exhibition will include over sixty artists' works from the 1970s to the present. The void, the ineffable, the sublime, refusal, nihilism, zero-all are encompassed by "nothing." The vacuity or reproducability of consumer image culture can be seen in works by Roe Ethridge and Andy Warhol. Metaphysical nothings-from Zen to an updated American sublime-are evident in works by Jack Goldstein, Heavy Industries and Yayoi Kusama. Yet another section, with works by Louise Lawler, Jutta Koether, and others, conceives of nothing as a kind of refusal or negation. A fourth grouping will document art projects that have sought to close or empty the gallery space. ICA's upstairs gallery will be devoted entirely to film and video, and will include works by Bernadette Corporation, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, John Smith, Nicolas Guagnini and Karin Schneider, and Charlemagne Palestine among others. ICA's exhibition "The Big Nothing" also initiates a Philadelphia-wide constellation of music, art, film, and talks independently organized by 36 venues throughout the city. Check the ICA website for full details including special hotel and travel packages.
Yun-Fei Ji: The East Wind
This is the first Brooklyn-based Chinese artist Yun-Fei Ji, using traditional techniques and styles of Chinese painting, takes a contemporary look at historic Chinese events in this, his second solo museum exhibition. The title "East Wind" points to the counter-currents of globalization-including the streams of Chinese art, history, and politics that stir Western culture today. The wind is also a potent metaphor in Chinese thought and refers to an ancient Chinese military strategy that emphasizes the element of surprise: "Make noise in the East, Attack in the West," Ji likens this strategy to his own practice of making art that looks pleasantly traditional, but is sharply relevant. He says, "displaced expectations produce anxiety and surprise, which in turn heighten the act of seeing and knowing."For the ICA Project Space, an assemblage of printed matter and prepatory sketches represent the research poured into these intricate and beautifully rendered paintings, and unpacks the turbulent events detailed therein.
Judy Pfaff creates installation environments from paint, plastic, glass, metal, wood, found objects, fabric, resin, steel-anything that comes to hand- into spiky vortexes of pictorial abstraction. A pioneer of site-specific installation in the 1970's, Pfaff has consistently redefined this art form with works that respond to and incorporate their surroundings. Initially urban in feeling, but increasingly organic, Pfaff's work over the past three decades transmits a generosity of spirit, which the artist considers essential to her practice. With collaboration a central component of her work, students from PennDesign at the University of Pennsylvania will assist Pfaff for this, the sixth commission in ICA's Ramp Project series. Given her impact on current artists, the responsive nature of her process and the recent achievements of her work, ICA eagerly anticipates this new commission by Judy Pfaff.
Founded in 1963 as part of the University of Pennsylvania, ICA presents a year-round exhibition schedule that defines, analyzes, and explores the contemporary visual arts. A non-collecting museum, ICA offers one-person, thematic, and group exhibitions, including commissioned works. ICA diversifies its examination of art to include interdisciplinary work such as film, video, performance, architecture, and design. ICA plays a vital role in introducing American audiences to rising international artists and is also committed to the regional arts community. ICA has been at the forefront of contemporary art for nearly 40 years, presenting the first museum solo exhibitions of artists Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana, Lisa Yuskavage, Charles LeDray and many others.
The ICA is located at 118 South 36th Street at the University of Pennsylvania. The ICA is open to the public, except during installation, from 12:00pm to 8:00pm on Wednesday through Friday and from 11:00am to 5:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults; $2 for students over 12, artists, and senior citizens; and free to ICA members, children 12 and under, PENN card holders, and on Sundays from 11:00am to 1:00pm. For more information, call 215-898-7108/5911.
Images: (top) Roe Ethridge, Moon, 2003; (middle) Yun-Fei Ji The Move in Ba Don, 2002; (bottom) Judy Pfaff Neither Here nor There, 2003, Photo by Alyson Horn.