(Boston, MADecember 19, 2019) Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA), announced that 16 significant works of art have entered the museum’s permanent collection, all acquired over the past year. Highlights include Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s ”The Beautyful Ones” Series #7 (2018), William Kentridge’s KABOOM! (2018), and Tschabalala Self’s Lite (2018), as well as works by Boston-based artists Josephine Halvorson and Lavaughan Jenkins. A selection of these new acquisitions will go on view in the coming months, including Self’s painting in Tschabalala Self: Out of Body on view Jan. 20 — July 5, 2020 and Kentridge’s immersive video installation KABOOM! on view July 22, 2020 — Jan. 3, 2021.

“The ICA Collection was started in 2006 and as a young collecting institution, we have the unique opportunity to build a collection with exemplary works of art that speak to the important issues of our time and more accurately reflect the diverse perspectives and narratives of the world we live in,” said Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director at the ICA. “We are grateful to our generous donors, who share and support this vision to grow the ICA Collection with remarkable works of art that both shape and define our contemporary culture.”

“These new acquisitions introduce global and local perspectives and concerns to our publics, enabling the museum to create more dialogue around works of art within the Collection and develop richer artistic, cultural, and historical narratives,” said Eva Respini, the ICA’s Barbara Lee Chief Curator. “We look forward to sharing these works with our audiences and in the spring of 2021, we will open our most extensive and ambitious collection presentation to date.”

Select new acquisitions below; please see here for a complete list of 2019 acquisitions.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby
“The Beautyful Ones” Series #7, 2018
Acrylic, colored pencil and transfers on paper 59 ⅞ x 41½ inches (152.1 x 105.4 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Fotene and Tom Coté, in honor of Eva Respini

One of today’s most celebrated painters, Njideka Akunyili Crosby has developed a signature style of collaged paintings that feature photographic transfers drawn from magazines, advertisements, and family albums. “The Beautyful Ones” Series #7 is part of the series The Beautyful Ones (2014- ongoing), which takes intergenerational memory and future, imagined and real, as its subject, incorporating images of children from the artist’s family photographs or from snapshots taken on recent visits to Nigeria. “The Beautyful Ones” Series #7 will be featured in a major collection presentation opening in spring 2021.

William Kentridge
KABOOM!, 2018
Three-channel HD film installation, model stage, paper props, found objects, and three mini-projectors with stands
75 ¼ x 196¼ x 40 ⅜ inches (191 x 498.5 x 102.5 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Amy and David Abrams, James and Audrey Foster, Charlotte Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner Ill, Jeanne L. Wasserman Art Acquisition Fund, and Fotene and Tom Coté Art Acquisition Fund

KABOOM! by the South African artist William Kentridge is a mixed-media three-channel work projected onto a scale model of the stage from the artist’s tour-de-force performance The Head & the Load. Employing his trademark multidisciplinary approach and his signature trope of the procession, Kentridge builds up dynamic layers of drawings, moving images, and texts projected over top of sculptural paper props to tell the story of the nearly two million African porters and carriers used by the British, French, and Germans during World War I. The ICA will present a standalone exhibition of this immersive work from July 22, 2020, through Jan. 3, 2021.

Toyin Ojih Odutola
Heir Apparent, 2018
Pastel, charcoal, and pencil on paper
63 ¼ x 42 inches (160.6 x 106.7 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of the Acquisitions Circle

Toyin Ojih Odutola’s drawing practice stages a dynamic interplay between line, form, and color to create sensuous and probing portraits. Since 2016 the artist has focused on a series that imagines the private lives of two fictional, aristocratic Nigerian families joined by marriage. Heir Apparent comes from the series’ final installment and features the nephew of Lord Jideofor Emeka and Lord Temitope Omodele, the presumed heir of their joint wealth. The work exemplifies Ojih Odutola’s inventive narrative conceit of a reimagined Nigeria, whose portrayal challenges those often constructed by and seen in the West. It also captures her consummate skill, especially her unique handling of surfaces, skin, and interiors to create dynamic and memorable works.

Tschabalala Self
Lite, 2018
Acrylic, Flashe, milk paint, fabric, and gum on canvas
96 x 84 inches (243.8 x 213.4 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of the
Acquisitions Circle, Tristin and Martin Mannion, Rob Larsen, Patrick Planeta and Santiago Varela, and anonymous donors

Tschabalala Self is among a generation of young artists who are advancing new modes of figurative painting, often while privileging African American selfhood and intersectional identities. Her figures celebrate the black body—especially those of black women—and their textural, coloristic, and abstract qualities reference psychological and emotional states. Lite features a female figure striding assertively past a male bystander who nearly blends into the storefront, suggesting his omnipresence as a neighborhood fixture who is often ignored. Through this passive interaction, a tension emerges between stasis and movement, dereliction and progress, which the artist considers emblematic of city life. Lite is included in Tschabalala Self: Out of Body, the artist’s largest exhibition to date, on view Jan. 20 to July 5, 2020.

About the ICA’s permanent collection

Established in 2006, the ICAʼs permanent collection offers a diverse overview of national and international artworks in a range of media. The collection includes works by Nick Cave, Paul Chan, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Marlene Dumas, Nan Goldin, Eva Hesse, Mona Hatoum, Ragnar Kjartansson, Steve McQueen, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol, among many others. Included in the collection is The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women, encompassing major works of 20th- and 21st-century art—including important pieces by Louise Bourgeois, Ellen Gallagher, Eva Hesse, Sherrie Levine, and a monumental wall tableau by Kara Walker. The collection is currently comprised of 61 percent women artists and 31 percent artists of color.

About the ICA

Since its founding in 1936, the ICA has shared the pleasures of reflection, inspiration, imagination, and provocation that contemporary art offers with its audiences. A museum at the intersection of contemporary art and civic life, the ICA has advanced a bold vision for amplifying the artist’s voice and augmenting art’s role as educator, incubator, and convener for social engagement. Its innovative exhibitions, performances, and educational programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. Spanning two locations across Boston Harbor, the ICA offers year-round programming at its iconic building in Boston’s Seaport and seasonal programming (May-September) at the Watershed in an East Boston shipyard.

The ICA is located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA, 02210. The Watershed is located at 256 Marginal Street, East Boston, MA 02128. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at icaboston.org. Follow the ICA at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.