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Institute of Contemporary Arts

The ICA has had a hard time – attacked by the press, and forced to radically rethink its funding after it was lamed by the financial crisis of 2008. But opposition is practically its mantra. Founded by a group of radical artists including Roland Penrose in the 1940s, it has always welcomed avant-garde creators in defiance of more conservative trends. It was here, behind the elegant Regency façade designed by Nash, that Picasso (and later Damien Hirst) had their first UK shows, and where pop art was actually born. These days, the fantastic little cinema shows cult international classics, while there are always interesting concerts and events. As you’d expect, the bar is a popular meeting place for arty types.

12 Carlton House Terrace
The Mall

Tel: 020 7930 3647
Opening Times: Open Wed, 12pm-11pm; Thu-Sat, 12pm-1am; Sun, 12pm-9pm
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