FINALLY! It’s time to smash that big bottle of champagne over the bow of Boston’s glossy, glassy new Institute of Contemporary Art , as the museum throws open the lofty doors to its new Diller Scofidio + Renfro–designed digs on Boston’s Fan Pier on Sunday December 10 with an array of ambitious exhibitions befitting the heightened role the expanded ICA anticipates playing on Boston’s, and the world’s, cultural stage. In this spirit, and utilizing the 65,000-square-foot space (triple its previous area), the dramatically cantilevered venue opens with a group show about “Vision” (how apropos!), an exhibit showing off the four finalists for the always prestigious and now even more financially rewarding ICA Artist Prize, a room-scale installation with a tropical flair, and a wild “Wall of Art” in the lobby.
Jane D. Marsching, Harry and the things he’s balanced, Greenland from the series Arctic Then (2006)
For outta-sight openers: though it turns out that those X-Ray Vision glasses you sent away for, the ones that promised to let you see through women’s clothing, were disappointing, advances in vision technology now allow us to see everything from the most elemental particles of matter to the farthest reaches of space, and we can even see them in the dark. Artists are always interested in new ways of seeing — both in what can be seen and how — and “Super Vision” brings together work by 27 international artists who’re looking at looking that include Op Art pioneer Bridget Riley and Stop Time pioneer Harold Edgerton, along with a host of artists who experiment with visual space and perception including James Turrell, Andreas Gursky, and Anish Kapoor, artists who investigate technology and vision including Tony Oursler and Mona Hatoum, and artists who draw on the visual language of the digital age including Jeff Koons and Julie Mehretu.
The new, expanded ICA also boasts a new, expanded ICA Artist Prize. This coveted award, which was established in 1999 and has been given annually since, has been redubbed the James and Audrey Foster Prize and will be worth $25,000 (increased from $5000) every other year, accompanied by an exhibition of up to four finalists. “2006 James and Audrey Foster Prize” features work by the four finalists for this year’s prize: Sheila Gallagher, Jane D. Marsching, Kelly Sherman, and Rachel Perry Welty.
The ICA continues its series of exhibitions highlighting new developments in contemporary art with “Momentum 6: Sergio Vega.” The Argentine-born, Florida-based artist’s colorful installation Tropicalounge was inspired by a 17th-century colonial manuscript purporting to map the “New Eden” of South America. And the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall — located in the lobby, to be commissioned annually — will be inaugurated with a mural by Tokyo-born-and-based Chiho Aoshima, who’s known for her mastery of computer technology and her vocabulary of images drawn from Japanese comics and animation.
“Super Vision,” “2006 James and Audrey Foster Prize,” “Momentum 6: Sergio Vega,” and Chiho Aoshima’s Wall MuraL at Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Avenue, Boston | December 10–April 29 (“Super Vision”); December 10–March 11 (2006 Artist Prize); December 10–March 18 (Vega); December 10–October 28 (Aoshima) | 617.478.3100
On the Web
Institute of Contemporary Art: http:// www.icaboston.org