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Zoë Ryan. Photo: Clare Britt.
Zoë Ryan. Photo: Clare Britt.

Zoë Ryan Named Director of Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania announced earlier this month the appointment of Zoë Ryan as director, effective November 5, 2020. Ryan arrives at the ICA—a noncollecting contemporary art institution based in Philadelphia—from the Art Institute of Chicago, which she joined in 2006 and where she most recently served as John H. Bryan Chair and curator of architecture and design. At the Art Institute, Ryan focused on developing and redefining the institution’s holdings of twentieth- and twenty-first-century architecture and design. In 2017, her research led to the exhibition “Past Forward: Architecture and Design at the Art Institute” (2017). Other shows organized or co-organized by Ryan include “Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye” (2015), “Fashioning the Object: Bless, Boudicca and Sandra Backlund” (2012), and “Bertrand Goldberg: Architecture of Invention” (2011). She also curated the second Istanbul Design Biennial, “The Future Is Not What It Used To Be” (2014).

“I am incredibly honored to join the ICA, an institution that has long championed under-recognized artists, diverse narratives, and a breadth of artistic practices,” Ryan said. “At this transformative moment in history and for the field, I’m eager to continue to shape the ICA as a crucial platform for engaging with the issues and ideas of our time through a critical and creative lens.”

Currently closed due to Covid-19, the ICA will reopen on September 25 with a retrospective of artist and renowned free jazz drummer Milford Graves.