Winter at the ICA

Winter at the ICA

WHAT: The colder months are a perfect time to see the latest exhibits inside the Institute of Contemporary Art, West Philadelphia’s showcase of contemporary painting, sculpture, video and other installations.

WHERE: The ICA is located at 118 S. 36th St., between Chestnut and Sansom streets.

COST: Admission is free. The free admission is suported by the Glenn R. Fuhrman (W87/WG88) Fund.

WHAT TO SEE: In the main gallery now through June 21 is, “Dirt on Delight: Impulses That Form Clay,” which features clay work from 22 artists spanning four generations, including Kathy Butterly’s Cenote, above, top. The show highlights the pliability and tactile nature of the material in pieces that range from small pots to figurines to large sculptures. Artists in the show include Nicole Cherubini, Jane Irish (who also works as a coordinator at PennDesign) and Robert Arneson.

UPSTAIRS: The upstairs exhibit from Penn Associate Professor of Fine Arts Joshua Mosley, “dread,” premiered to acclaim at the 2007 Venice Biennale, and is comprised of five bronze sculptures and a six minute black-and-white stop-start animation video, accompanied by the artist’s own music and dialogue.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Named after photographer Eadweard Muybridge’s motion study sequences of a dog named Dread, the installation follows philosophers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Blaise Pascal on a nature walk as they contemplate existence, God and nature. On March 18 at 6:30 p.m., Mosley joins Assistant Professor of Philosophy Elisabeth Camp for a conversation about the installation and the ideas behind it.

STILL MORE TO SEE: Also upstairs, in the designated Project Space, Philadelphia-based artist Anthony Campuzano presents several new text-based works, including the 2008 piece pictured above, bottom, Begrudgingly after Phyllis Schlafly. The artist routinely embeds texts from newspaper headlines, pop song lyrics and online sources in his brightly colored drawings.

ON MELODY: Join Campuzano on Feb. 18 at the ICA for a 6:30 p.m. screening of “Melody,” Jean-Christophe Averty’s dark, trippy 28-minute video accompaniment to Serge Gainsbourg’s iconic and provocative concept album, Histoire de Melody Nelson. At 7 p.m., the artist and curator Kathryn Kraczon will discuss Campuzano’s text-based works.

MORE INFO: Visit the ICA’s website at

Originally published on January 22, 2009