The ICA is one of the world's most innovative, cutting-edge arts centres. Home to the best of new art and cultural thinking, we present a unique programme of visual art, films, talks, performance and other special events.
Originally conceived in 1946 by poet, anarchist, art critic and historian Herbert Read, alongside a group of artists and patrons including Richard Hamilton, Eduardo Paolozzi, Roland Penrose and Peter Watson, as a "laboratory" or "playground" for contemporary arts, it continues to challenge traditional notions and boundaries of art forms essentially by working with artists, curators, musicians, directors and thinkers who share a desire to investigate issues relevant to the wider concerns of today's world.
Contributing to its history have been artists and luminaries such as T.S Eliot, Stravinsky, Elizabeth Lutyens, Jean Tinguley, Ronnie Scott, Jackson Pollock, Cartier-Bresson, Yves Klein, Jacques Derrida, Michael Foucault, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Nan Goldin, Peter Blake, Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, Yoko Ono, John Maybury, Don Letts, Horace Ové, Wong Kar Wai, Lars von Trier, Takeshi Kitano, Abbas Kiarostami, Michael Winterbottom, Jeff Wall, Bill Viola, Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren, Ian McEwan, Philip Pullman, Zadie Smith and Slavoj Zizek.
The ICA has played host to debut solos shows from some of today's highest profile artists including Damien Hirst, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Luc Tuymans and Steve McQueen. It was one of the first venues to present The Clash in 1976, the Stone Roses in 1989 and has seen debut London gigs from Scissor Sisters, Franz Ferdinand, Gogol Bordello, MGMT and Little Boots, as well as hosting stand-out performances from Lykke Li, Super Furry Animals, Lightning Bolt, Beastie Boys, The Knife, My Bloody Valentine, Mars Volta, Throbbing Gristle and The Big Pink.