The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) is an artistic and cultural centre on The Mall in London, just off Trafalgar Square. It is located within Nash House, part of Carlton House Terrace, near the Duke of York Steps and Admiralty Arch. It contains galleries, a theatre, two cinemas, a bookshop and a bar. Since 2011, the director has been Gregor Muir.
The ICA was founded by Roland Penrose, Peter Watson, Herbert Read, Peter Gregory, Geoffrey Grigson and E.L.T. Mesens in 1946. The ICA's founders intended to establish a space where artists, writers and scientists could debate ideas outside the traditional confines of the Royal Academy. The first exhibitions were held in rented premises organised by Penrose, '40 Years of Modern Art' was followed by '40,000 Years of Modern Art' reflecting his interest in primitivism.