Streaming on YouTube Live, Instagram Live, Facebook Live, and here.

Join us for a virtual evening honoring Virgil Abloh and Sterling Ruby, two of the most influential artists of our time, each breaking boundaries and redefining the worlds of art, fashion, and design.

Enjoy special performances from 2020 Grammy nominee Tank and the Bangas and experimental pop and performance artist serpentwithfeet. Hear tributes from renowned artist, director, and cinematographer Arthur Jafa and former New York Times chief fashion critic and editor-at-large for New York Magazine’s The Cut Cathy Horyn as well as appearances from our very own ICA teens. And as a special treat, join us for inspiration and conversation with the honorees themselves!

Clothing pattern on green background with repeating grim reaper imagery and the text

“WALLPAPER” pattern piece property of Virgil Abloh™️ & Sterling Ruby ©️2020. Designed exclusively for the ICA Gala.

Download now 


Performance / serpentwithfeet
Welcome / Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director
Testimonial / Rafael Andrade, ICA Teen Arts Council
Introduction / Nathan DeJesus, ICA Teen Arts Council
Tribute / Cathy Horyn
Intro / Beatrice Jackson, ICA Teen Arts Council
Tribute / Arthur Jafa
Conversation / Virgil Abloh + Sterling Ruby
Thanks / Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director
Performance / Tank and the Bangas


Artist and designer Virgil Abloh has pioneered 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 worked on album covers, concert designs, and merchan- dising. In 2013, he launched his fashion house Off-White, and in 2018 he was named artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear. Next July, the ICA opens Abloh’s first museum exhibition, Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech,” organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and set in an immersive space designed by Rem Koolhaas’s renowned architecture firm OMA* AMO. Offering an in-depth look at defining highlights of Abloh’s career, the exhibition includes signature clothing collections, video documentation of iconic fashion shows, and distinctive furniture, graphic design work, and collaborative projects with other artists.

Sterling Ruby is a leading contemporary artist whose work has been presented in solo exhibitions throughout the globe. Since his earliest works, Ruby has investigated the role of the artist as an outsider. Critiquing the struc- tures of modernism and traditional institutions, Ruby ad- dresses 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. Based in Los Angeles, Ruby also privileges craft in his work, informed by his interest in California’s radical ceramics tradition and the quilt-making and other handicrafts of Pennsylvania Dutch country, where he grew up. The artist’s first comprehensive museum survey, co-organized with ICA Miami and on view at the ICA, features more than 70 works that demonstrate the relationship between material transformation in Ruby’s practice and the rapid evolution of contemporary culture, institutions, and labor. Spanning more than two decades, the exhibition features works ranging from his renowned ceramics and paintings to lesser-known drawings and sculptures.


Renowned artist, director, and cinematographer Arthur Jafa has captured the history and experience of black Americans from groundbreaking collaborations with Beyoncé and Spike Lee to major museum presentations across the globe. The ICA presented his powerful video installation Love is the Message, The Message is Death in 2018.

Former New York Times chief fashion critic and current editor-at-large for New York Magazine’s The Cut, Cathy Horyn is celebrated for her fearless and provocative reviews and was recognized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America with the prestigious Eugenia Sheppard Award for fashion writing.


Experimental pop and performance artist acclaimed for his voluminous, operatic flourish and electroacoustic milieu.

Unpredictable 2020 Grammy nominees for Best New Artist full of funk, soul, hip-hop, jazz, and spoken-word freshness.

Thank You


Jodi and Hal Hess

Kim Sinatra


Bridgitt and Bruce Evans

Charlotte Cramer Wagner and Herbert S. Wagner III


Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté

Jennifer Epstein and William Keravuori, Bob and Esta Epstein,
          Giving |Grousbeck Fazzalari, and Eric and Sarah Svenson

Abigail Johnson and Christopher McKown

Tristin and Martin Mannion

Erica Gervais Pappendick and Ted Pappendick

Ellen Poss

Nancy W. Adams and Scott A. Schoen, Adelle Chang and
          Eddie Yoon, Lynn Dale and Frank Wisneski,
          and Sinesia and William Karol

Kate and Charles Brizius with Negin and Oliver Ewald

Jim and Audrey Foster

Edward Berman and Kate McDonough

Paul and Catherine Buttenwieser

Karen and Brian Conway

Debi and Mark Greenberg

Barbara and Amos Hostetter

Isabelle and Ian Loring

Kristen and Kent Lucken

Citi Bank Logo

Marilyn and Dan O’Connell

David and Leslie Puth with Mark and Marie Schwartz

Tobias and Kristin Welo


Logo for Four Seasons Hotel, One Dalton Street, BOston



Boston Common Logo


First Republic logo


Sterling Ruby is organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, ICA/Boston, and Alex Gartenfeld, Artistic Director, ICA, Miami, with Jeffrey De Blois, Assistant Curator and Publications Manager, ICA/Boston.

Sterling Ruby was on view at ICA, Miami November 7, 2019 – February 2, 2020.

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

SPONSORS_Spruth Magers Gagosian Xavier Hufkens combined Sterling Ruby


Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” is organized by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator of the MCA Chicago. The exhibition is designed by Samir Bantal, Director of AMO, the research and design studio of OMA. The ICA’s presentation is coordinated by Ruth Erickson, Mannion Family Curator.   

The exhibition tour is made possible by Kenneth C. Griffin.

Major support for the Boston presentation of Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech” is provided by Encore Boston Harbor.

ENCORE_BH FINAL(small).jpg

Support is provided by Northern Trust.

Northern Trust logo

Neiman Marcus is the Lead Education Partner of Teen Programs associated with Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech.”



Camilo Alvarez*

Charles Brizius

Paul Buttenwieser

Karen Conway

Steven D. Corkin

Robert Davoli

Fotene Demoulas

Mary Schneider Enriquez

Bridgitt Evans

Oliver Ewald

David Feinberg

Gerald Fineberg

James Foster

Erica Gervais Pappendick

Mark Goodman

Vivien Hassenfeld

Hal Hess

Allison Johnson

Charla Jones

Barbara Lee

Manny Lopes

Kent Lucken

Tristin Mannion

Travis McCready

Jill Medvedow*

Dan O’Connell

Ellen M. Poss

David Puth

Charles Rodgers

Mario Russo

Mark Schwartz

Kambiz Shahbazi

Charlotte Wagner

Nicole Zatlyn*




Clark Bernard

Vin Cipolla

Ann Collier

John DesPrez

William Rawn

David Ross

Karen Rotenberg

Steven Stadler

David Thorne



Camilo Alvarez

Less Arnold

Steven Bercu

Margaret Bergstrand

Jacqueline Bernat

Robert Berstein

Dan Bornstein

Bill Buccella

Robert Burke

Adelle Chang

Peter Cohen

Nicole Conlon

Stephanie Formica Connaughton

Kathryn Conway

Daniela Corte

John Deknatel

Sarah Delaney

Nathalie Ducrest

Jennifer Epstein

Elizabeth Erdreich White

Jesse Feldman

Grace Fey

Ilana Finley

Audrey Foster

John S. Foster

Abigail Goodman

Cynthia Greene

Hilary Grove

Robin Hauck

Gavin Kennedy

Jessica Knez

Barbara Krakow

William D. Krause

Stephen T. Kunian

Robert Kwak

Barbara Lloyd

JR Lowry

Kathleen McDonough

Richard Miner

Dell Mitchell

Marcyliena Morgan

Robert J. Nagle

Sandra Nanberg

Shelly Nemirovsky

Nikki Nudelman

Marlene Persky

Patrick Planeta

Leslie Riedel

William Ruhl

Holly Safford

B.J. Salter

Arnold E. Sapenter

Caroline Taggart

Wiebe Tinga

Cecily Tyler

Russell Williams

Lucy Xie

Nicole Zatlyn

Corey Zehngebot