(Boston, MA—September 5, 2019) The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) announces its exhibition schedule from fall 2019 through summer 2020. Upcoming exhibitions include Yayoi Kusama’s LOVE IS CALLING, a new anchor in the ICA’s collection; When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art, a major exhibition that considers how contemporary artists are responding to the migration, immigration, and displacement of peoples today; the first comprehensive museum survey for American artist Sterling Ruby; and the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of the genre-bending artist and designer Virgil Abloh. For more information, please contact Margaux Leonard at mleonard@icaboston.org or 617-478-3176.

A photo shows a mirrored room filled with inflated glowing tentacles in different colors and colored with black dots of varying sizes.

Sep 24, 2019–Feb 7, 2021
An icon of contemporary art, Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan) has interwoven ideas of pop art, minimalism, and psychedelia throughout her work in paintings, performances, room-size presentations, outdoor sculptural installations, literary works, films, design, and architectural interventions over her long and influential career. LOVE IS CALLING, which premiered in Japan in 2013, is the most immersive and kaleidoscopic of the artist’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. Representing the culmination of her artistic achievements, it exemplifies the breadth of her visual vocabulary—from her signature polka dots and soft sculptures to brilliant colors, the spoken word, and most importantly, endless reflections and the illusion of space. It is composed of a darkened, mirrored room illuminated by inflatable, tentacle-like forms—covered in the artist’s characteristic polka dots—that extend from the floor and ceiling, gradually changing colors. As visitors walk throughout the installation, a sound recording of Kusama reciting a love poem in Japanese plays continuously. Written by the artist, the poem’s title translates to Residing in a Castle of Shed Tears in English. Exploring enduring themes including life and death, the poem poignantly expresses Kusama’s hope to spread a universal message of love through her art. LOVE IS CALLING is the largest of Kusama’s existing Infinity Mirror Rooms, and the first one held in the permanent collection of a New England museum. Yayoi Kusama: LOVE IS CALLING is organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator.

Parallel to LOVE IS CALLING, the ICA will present a focused collection presentation titled Beyond Infinity: Contemporary Art after Kusama, to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of how Kusama has indelibly influenced art today. The 14th iteration of the ICA’s annual collection exhibition, Beyond Infinity will feature approximately 15 works from the 1950s to today, encompassing sculpture, painting, film, photography, and drawings.

MIGRATION_ART541806_Kallat MoMA Art Resource.jpg

When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art
Oct 23, 2019–Jan 26, 2020
When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art considers how contemporary artists are responding to the migration, immigration, and displacement of peoples today. We are currently witnessing the highest levels of movement on record—the United Nations estimates that one out of every seven people in the world is an international or internal migrant who moves by choice or by force, with great success or great struggle. When Home Won’t Let You Stay borrows its title from a poem by Warsan Shire, a Somali-British poet who gives voice to the experiences of refugees. Through artworks made since 2000 by twenty artists from more than a dozen countries—such as Colombia, Cuba, France, India, Iraq, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States—this exhibition highlights diverse artistic responses to migration ranging from personal accounts to poetic meditations, and features a range of mediums, including sculpture, installation, painting, and video. Artists in the exhibition include Kader Attia, Tania Bruguera, Isaac Julien, Hayv Kahraman, Reena Saini Kallat, Richard Mosse, Carlos Motta, Yinka Shonibare, Xaviera Simmons, and Do-Ho Suh, among others. A fully illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with an essay by Eva Respini and Ruth Erickson and texts by prominent scholars Aruna D’Souza, Okwui Enwezor, Thomas Keenan, Peggy Levitt, and Uday Singh Mehta, among others. This exhibition is organized by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator, and Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, with Ellen Tani, Assistant Curator.

A large mixed- media painting depicts the abstracted figure of a man in a tank top and sneakers standing on a sidewalk holding a beer can and the leg of another figure in red gingham pants that appears to have just walked out of the frame.

Tschabalala Self
Jan 20, 2020–Jul 5, 2020
Tschabalala Self (b. 1990 in Harlem, New York) creates large-scale figurative paintings that integrate hand-printed and found textiles, drawing, printmaking, sewing, and collage techniques to tell stories of urban life, the body, and humanity. The artist’s first Boston presentation—and her largest exhibition to date—will include a selection of paintings and sculptures that represent personal avatars, couplings, and everyday social exchanges inspired by urban life. Together, they articulate new expressions of embodiment and humanity through the exaggerated forms and exuberant textures of the human figure, pointing to its limitless capacity to represent imagined states, memories, aspirations, and emotions. Yet Self’s characters possess an ordinary grace grounded in reality: they are reflections of the artist or people she can imagine meeting in Harlem, her hometown. This exhibition is organized by Ellen Tani, Assistant Curator.

A form that looks like a mobile or a fishing net with orange and yellow fibers hangs suspended. At the bottom, small objects hang from strings in a corkscrew shape.

Carolina Caycedo
Jan 20, 2020–Jul 5, 2020
The interdisciplinary practice of Los Angeles–based artist Carolina Caycedo (b. 1978, London) is grounded in vital questions related to asymmetrical power relations, dispossession, extraction, and environmental justice. Since 2012, Caycedo’s ongoing project Be Dammed has examined the wide-reaching impacts of dams built along waterways, particularly those in Latin American countries such as Brazil or Colombia (where she was raised and frequently returns). At the ICA, Caycedo will present the culmination of her Cosmotarrayas, a series of hanging sculptures assembled with handmade fishing nets and other objects collected during field research in different riverine communities affected by the privatization of waterways. These objects demonstrate the meaningful connectivity and exchange at the heart of Caycedo’s practice, as many of the nets and other objects were entrusted to her by individuals no longer able to use them. At the same time, they also represent the dispossession of these individuals and their continued resistance to corporations and governments seeking to control the flow of water and thus their way of life. This exhibition is organized by Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager.

One three-dimensional oblong form sits stacked askew on top of another. The top for is translucent yellow with swirls of red that appear to be rising up. The bottom form appears to be a wooden box painted yellow, with the letters WS ROLLING hand-drawn on the side in red.

Sterling Ruby
Feb 26, 2020–May 26, 2020
ICA/Boston presents the first comprehensive museum survey for American artist Sterling Ruby. The exhibition features more than 50 works that demonstrate the relationship between material transformation in Ruby’s practice and the rapid evolution of American culture, institutions, and labor. Spanning more than two decades of the artist’s career, the exhibition features an array of works created in various mediums, from his renowned ceramics and paintings to lesser-known drawings and installations. Since his earliest works, Ruby has investigated the role of the artist as an outsider. Critiquing the structures of modernism and traditional institutions, Ruby addresses the repressed underpinnings of American culture and the coding of power and violence, employing a range of imagery from the American flag to prison architecture and graffiti. Craft is central to his inquiry, informed by his upbringing in Pennsylvania Dutch country and working in Los Angeles, as he explores hand-based processes from Amish quilt-making to California’s radical ceramics tradition. Organized loosely by chronology and medium, Sterling Ruby considers the artist’s explorations of these themes across the many materials and forms he has utilized throughout his practice, including many innovations. Sterling Ruby is co-presented with Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, and will be accompanied by an illustrated scholarly catalogue edited by Alex Gartenfeld and Eva Respini, with a conversation between Ruby and Isabelle Graw. The catalogue will feature essays that consider Ruby’s work amidst the contemporary art production and visual culture of the last 30 years. Sterling Ruby is on view at ICA, Miami November 7, 2019–February 2, 2020. The exhibition is organized by Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director, ICA, Miami, and Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, ICA/Boston, with Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager, ICA/Boston.

A photo shows a model in a translucent cropped top and shorts, sunglasses, and yellow boots against a black background.

Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech
Jul 4, 2020–Oct 18, 2020
Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” is the first museum exhibition devoted to the work of the genre-bending artist and designer Virgil Abloh (b. 1980, Rockford, IL). Abloh pioneers a practice that cuts across media and connects visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion designers, and architects. Abloh cultivated an interest in design and music at an early age, finding inspiration in the urban culture of Chicago. While pursuing a master’s degree in architecture from the Illinois Institute of Technology, he connected with Kanye West and joined West’s creative team to work on album covers, concert designs, and merchandising. In 2013, Abloh founded his stand-alone fashion brand Off-White™ in Milan, Italy, and, in 2018, assumed the position of artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear. Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and set in an immersive space designed by Rem Koolhaas’s renowned architecture firm OMA*AMO, the exhibition will offer an in-depth look at defining highlights of Abloh’s career, including signature clothing collections, video documentation of iconic fashion shows, distinctive furniture and graphic design work, and collaborative projects with contemporary artists. A program of cross-disciplinary offerings will mirror the artist’s range of interests across music, fashion, architecture, and design. Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech is organized by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator of the MCA Chicago, with curatorial assistance from Chanon Kenji Praepipatmongkol. The ICA’s presentation is coordinated by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator.

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.


LOVE IS CALLING was acquired through the generosity of Barbara Lee, The Barbara Lee Collection of Art by Women, Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté, Hilary and Geoffrey Grove, Vivien and Alan Hassenfeld, Jodi and Hal Hess, Barbara H. Lloyd, and an anonymous donor.

Support for When Home Won’t Let You Stay: Migration through Contemporary Art is generously provided by Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser, Steve Corkin and Dan Maddalena, Alan and Vivien Hassenfeld, Kristen and Kent Lucken, the Poss Family Foundation, and Mark and Marie Schwartz.

Tschabalala Self: Around the Way is supported, in part, by the Jennifer Epstein Fund for Women Artists. Additional support for  is generously provided by Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté and Ted Pappendick and Erica Gervais Pappendick.

Additional support for Tschabalala Self: Around the Way is generously provided by Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté and Ted Pappendick and Erica Gervais Pappendick.

Major support for Sterling Ruby is provided by Sprüth Magers, Gagosian, and Xavier Hufkens.

SPONSORS_Spruth Magers Gagosian Xavier Hufkens combined Sterling Ruby

Additional support for the Boston presentation is generously provided by Stephanie Formica Connaughton and John Connaughton, Jean-François and Nathalie Ducrest, Bridgitt and Bruce Evans, James and Audrey Foster, Ted Pappendick and Erica Gervais Pappendick, David and Leslie Puth, and Charlotte and Herbert S. Wagner III.


Yayoi Kusama, LOVE IS CALLING, 2013. Wood, metal, glass mirrors, tile, acrylic panel, rubber, blowers, lighting element, speakers, and sound, 174 ½ x 340 ⅝ x 239 ⅜ inches (443.2 x 865.2 x 608 cm). © YAYOI KUSAMA | Reena Saini Kallat, Woven Chronicle, 2011–2016. Installation view, Insecurities: Tracing Displacement and Shelter, October 1, 2016 – January 22, 2017, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo by Jonathan Muzikar. © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA / Art Resource, NY | Tschabalala Self, Lite, 2018. Acrylic, flashe, milk paint, fabric, and gum on canvas. 96 x 84 inches (243.8 x 213.36 cm). Courtesy of the artist; Pilar Corrias Gallery, London; and Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Miami. © Tschabalala Self | Carolina Caycedo, Ósun (detail), 2018. Hand-dyed artisanal fishing net, steel chain, steel pot lid, mirror, enamel, spray paint, hoop earrings, paracord, string, and brass handles. 120 x 24 x 24 inches (304.8 x 61 x 61 cm). Courtesy the artist and Instituto de Visión, Bogotá, Columbia © Carolina Caycedo | Sterling Ruby, ACTS/WS ROLLIN, 2011. Clear urethane block, dye, wood, spray paint, and formica. 60 ½ x 62 ½ x 34 inches (153.7 x 158.8 x 86.4 cm). Photo by Robert Wedemeyer. Courtesy Sterling Ruby Studio, Los Angeles © Sterling Ruby Studio |Off-White™ c/o Virgil Abloh, Spring/Summer 2018, Look 11; Courtesy of Off-White™ c/o Virgil Abloh. Photo: Fabien Montique.