Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami
The latest of several new or expanded art museums in the city, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, opened in December of 2017 within a modern structure designed to resemble a three-story glass-and-steel box. The museum exterior reflects the collection of modern art with a sculptural south facade of interlocking metal triangles and recessed colored light panels. The organizations galleries and programs support continuous experimentation in contemporary art as well as supporting the work of scholars and promoting the exchange of art and ideas. The museum galleries include spaces for exhibiting the work of local, emerging, and under-recognized artists.
Backstory and Context
Previously located in the Moore Building in the Design District, the ICA Miami is now located in a new 37,500-square-foot building has tripled the museum’s exhibition area. The new building serves a double function: a space that houses and exhibits a range of diverse works and installations and a cultural anchor and a major element of the urban surroundings.
The ICA was designed by Spanish architects María José Aranguren and José González Gallegos, who are no strangers to designing for the arts. The front of ICA Miami is similar to the ABC Museum in Madrid. Other notable buildings by Aranguren and Gallegos are the National Visual Arts Center in Madrid and the Archaeological Museum of Córdoba. Designing ICA Miami was the Spanish firm’s first venture into the US. The firm aimed to create an integrated experience for the visitor, which combines modern art and architecture, as well as some striking views of the Miami cityscape.
The shows are spread across three levels, in rooms flexible enough to accommodate different types of exhibits. The top two floors house temporary exhibitions. On the ground floor are the galleries for the permanent collection, long-term loans and a project space for emerging artists. Its north-facing floor-to-ceiling windows flood the galleries with light and treetop views of the Buena Vista neighborhood that borders the Design District, along with the sculpture garden.
ICA descends from the Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened under that name in 1996 in the Moore Building in North Miami. In 2014, following the failure of a municipal-bond referendum to finance MOCA’s expansion, and the departure of the director, Bonnie Clearwater, the museum’s board sued the city for the right to move.
ICA Miami moved to a space in an Art Deco building in the Design District that de la Cruz once used as a gallery. It had stood vacant since the couple chose to focus on exhibiting their own art and opened the de la Cruz Collection in 2009, in a nearby 30,000-square-foot building.
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Lubow, Arthur. Inside the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami's Newest Museum. W Magazine. November 27, 2017. Accessed May 13, 2018. https://www.wmagazine.com/story/institute-of-contemporary-art-miami-museum-highlights.
Stathaki, Ellie. ICA Miami’s new home has all the right angles. Wallpaper. December 01, 2017. Accessed May 13, 2018. https://www.wallpaper.com/architecture/ica-miami-arangunen-gallegos.
Viglucci, Andres. This new museum wants to prove that cutting-edge art is for everyone — so entry is free. Miami Herald. November 24, 2017. Accessed May 13, 2018. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article186149418.html.
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