Gallery view

(Boston, MA, Dec. 10, 2015)—The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) has added 20 major works of 20th- and 21st-century art to The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women, today announced Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the ICA. This exceptional gift by Barbara Lee, Vice-Chair of the ICA Board, furthers the ICA’s commitment to building a collection of art that addresses the systemic underrepresentation of woman artists in museum collections. 
The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women, established at the ICA in 2014, represents three decades of collecting by Lee and brings together painting, sculpture, photography, and videography by iconic modern and contemporary women artists. 
Highlights of Lee’s most recent gift include Louise Bourgeois’s tour-de-force sculptural work Cell (Hands and Mirror) (1995); two critically important sculptures by Eva Hesse, Ennead (1966) and Accession IV (1968); Sherrie Levine’s iconic 1996 sculpture Fountain (Buddha); Ellen Gallagher’s suite of 60 prints DeLuxe (2004-05); and a monumental, room-size installation by Kara Walker titled The Nigger Huck Finn Pursues Happiness Beyond the Narrow Constraints of your Overdetermined Thesis on Freedom – Drawn and Quartered by Mister Kara Walkerberry, with Condolences to the Authors (2010). 
“Barbara Lee continues to lead by example—her vision and generosity allow the ICA to tell urgent and undertold histories of post-war and contemporary art,” said Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the ICA. “With these new acquisitions, our collection is enriched by some of the most important works of recent art history. The introduction of a major installation by Kara Walker is a hallmark addition to our collection and brings an essential engagement between the work in our galleries and the critical issues of our time. The Eva Hesse sculptures Ennead and Accession IV are rare and exceptional works that, in our galleries, will provide vital context for understanding Hesse’s foundational influence on generations of artists.”
“My gift puts women artists front and center at an institution known for breaking barriers,” said Lee. “The ICA’s vision aligns powerfully with my own. The museum has a spirit of independence, defies expectations, and challenges the status quo—all things that embody my life’s work to empower women.”
Kara Walker’s installation The Nigger Huck Finn…, commissioned for the 2010 exhibition Huckleberry Finn at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco, is a sweeping installation composed of silhouetted cut-paper figures set on a light brown groundline painted directly on the wall and punctuated by seven framed gouache paintings on paper. To date, only one other wall work by Walker combines these three elements.

“These remarkably generous gifts provide us with an opportunity to continue to build our collection of 20th- and 21st- century art so that our community can enjoy more works by these artists, permanently, furthering the ICA’s mission to expand people’s understanding of art and the salient ideas and issues of our time,” said Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator of the ICA.
The complete list of new works added to The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women:

Dara Birnbaum
Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry, 1979
Two channel video (color, sound; 06:26 minutes), and flight cases
Dimensions variable

Louise Bourgeois
Untitled, BOUR 0913, 1947-49
Wood and paint
25 ¼ x 10 ¼ x 6 ⅝ inches (64.1 x 26 x 16.8 cm)

Louise Bourgeois
Spiral Woman, 1951-52
Wood and steel
62 ½ x 12 x 12 inches (159 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm)

Louise Bourgeois
Spiral Woman, 1984
Bronze and slate
14 x 4 x 5 inches (35.6 x 10.2 x 12.7 cm); Slate disc: 1 ¼ x 34 ¾ inches (3.18 x 88.3 cm)

Louise Bourgeois
Cell (Hands and Mirror), 1995
Marble, metal, and mirror
63 x 48 x 45 inches (160 x 122 x 114 cm)

Carol Bove
Innerspace Bullshit, 2007
Fourteen books, comic book, letter, bronze sculpture, Marfa rock, ocean ephemera, mirror, and pamphlet on wood and metal shelves
42 x 36 ⅛ x 12 inches (107 x 91.8 x 30.5 cm)
Ellen Gallagher
DeLuxe, 2004–05
Photogravure, etching, aquatint, and drypoints with lithography, screenprint, embossing, tattoo-machine engraving, laser cutting, and chine collé; and additions of plasticine, paper collage, enamel, varnish, gouache, pencil, oil, polymer, watercolor, pomade, velvet, glitter, crystals, foil paper, gold leaf, toy eyeballs, and imitation ice cubes
Sixty parts, each 13 ½ x 10 ½ inches (34.3 x 26.7 cm); overall 84 x 176 inches (213 x 447 cm)
Eva Hesse
Ennead, 1966
Dyed string, papier-mâché, and paint
96 x 39 x 17 inches (244 x 99.1 x 43.2 cm)
Eva Hesse
Accession IV, 1968
Galvanized steel and rubber tubing
8 ⅛ x 8 x 8 ¼ inches (20.6 x 20.3 x 21 cm)
Louise Lawler
Grieving Mothers (Attachment), 2005
Silver dye bleach print (Cibachrome)
46 x 41 inches (117 x 104 cm)

Sherrie Levine
After Henri Matisse, 1985
Ink and graphite on paper
13 ⅞ x 10 ⅞ inches (35.2 x 27.6 cm)
Sherrie Levine
Chair Seat: 7, 1986
Casein on wood
18 x 18 x 2 ¼ inches (45.7 x 45.7 x 5.72 cm)

Sherrie Levine
Untitled (Gold Knot: 6), 1987
Oil on wood
62 ½ x 50 ¼ inches (159 x 128 cm)
Sherrie Levine
Fountain (Buddha), 1996
12 x 17 x 16 inches (30.5 x 43.2 x 40.6 cm)

Couple No 1, 1965-66
Wood, paint, fabric, electric motor, and mixed media
71 x 34 x 26 7/16 inches (180 x 86.4 x 67.2 cm)
Alice Neel
Vera Beckerhoff, 1972
Oil on canvas
60 x 32 inches (152 x 81.3 cm)

Alice Neel
Margaret Evans Pregnant, 1978
Oil on canvas
57 ¾ x 38 inches (147 x 96.5 cm)

Cady Noland
Untitled, 1989
Screenprint on aluminum
72 x 48 inches (183 x 122 cm)

Charline von Heyl
Untitled, 2003
Mixed media on paper
Ten parts, each 23 ⅞ x 18 ⅞ inches (60.6 x 47.9 cm)

Kara Walker
The Nigger Huck Finn Pursues Happiness Beyond the Narrow Constraints of your Overdetermined Thesis on Freedom — Drawn and Quartered by Mister Kara Walkerberry, with Condolences to The Authors, 2010
Cut paper and paint on wall and gouache and ink on paper
Approximately 57 feet
16 cut paper elements, dimensions variable; 7 framed works on paper, each 11 ½ x 15 inches (29.2 x 38.1 cm)

The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women
The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women represents three decades of collecting by philanthropist and political activist Barbara Lee. It brings together painting, sculpture, and photography by iconic modern and contemporary artists. Ranging from portraiture to performance, abstraction and representation, conceptual and craft-based work, the art in the Collection presents personal and political explorations of identity; feminism; materiality; and the body as the site of pleasure, violence, repression and expression. Artists represented in the Collection include Louise Bourgeois, Tara Donovan, Marlene Dumas, Mona Hatoum, Cindy Sherman, and Lorna Simpson, and adds groundbreaking works by artists who are part of the ICA’s exhibition history including Sandra Cinto, Rachel Harrison, Eva Hesse, Jenny Holzer, Roni Horn, Louise Lawler, Ana Mendieta, Doris Salcedo, Joan Semmel, Amy Sillman, Kiki Smith, Shelburne Thurber, and Lisa Yuskavage.