Food for Thought

"Feast" at Blaffer Art Museum

Catherine D. Anspon
October 01, 2013

Two exhibitions this season remind us of the creative interconnectivity between cooking and art-making, fine dining and savoring a blockbuster exhibition. We can’t wait for “Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art” at the Blaffer Art Museum (September 6 – December 7). Not since Jennifer Rubell served porridge at Art Basel Miami Beach have we been so captivated by the melding of the culinary and visual arts. Stay tuned for a recipe from the Blaffer curatorial kitchen, which adds local ingredients to the traveling show whipped up by the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago. We’re taken with the historical aspect of “Feast,” which begins in the 1930s and moves forward, but above all, the performances, which include a gingerbread surprise staged by Nigerian-born, London-based Mary Evans that probes the history of slavery via food. Other gastronomic high points include the enactment of Tom Marioni’s salon The Act of Drinking Beer with Friends is the Highest Form of Art (1970-present), complete with guest bartenders at the Blaffer throughout the run of the exhibition and the performance of Lee Mingwei’s tasty participatory The Dining Project. There’s even a roving video filmed by Houston-based Gabriel Martinez, with the artist and guests mapping Houston’s most delish taquerias. Later in the season, the culinary and canvases collide at the Art Institute of Chicago, when “Art and Appetite” stirs up a look at the rendering of glorious food and dinner parties throughout the history of American art, from Raphaelle Peale and Gerald Murphy through Wayne Thiebaud, plus a special PA by the Holy Grail of American paintings, Nighthawks by Edward Hopper (November 12 ­– January 27, 2014).;