Claes Oldenburg. Ice Cream Soda with Cookie, 1963. Alkyd paint on plaster and glass, stainless steel, chinaware, paper, painted tray, Overall: 29.2 x 34.9 x 26 cm. Gift of the Sydney Lawrence Wax Family Trust, 2011. © Claes Oldenburg 2011/272
Here at the AGO, we relish artful dining. All around us – on the Gallery walls and in the AGO’s restaurant and cafés – are reminders of the central role that food plays in our lives and in the art world. Before we head to AGO Bistro for Happy Hour, here is a soupçon of some of the tastiest arts and culture stories we’re reading this week. Bon appétit.
In exciting news, British artist Sarah Lucas celebrated the opening of her new exhibition at the Red Brick Museum in Beijing with a performance of One Thousand Eggs: For Women, in which the artist and others threw eggs against a wall. Also on view, her 1992 work, Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab.
Tributes and memorials continue to pour in for acclaimed American conceptual artist John Baldessari, who passed away in January. His influence was huge, and lives on, reminding us to always ask: "What's in these cookies?"
Was he the original cookie artist? Perhaps, but appearances matter. This cookie artist is raising awareness of Asian-American history and identity, one delectable portrait at a time.
Portrait of the artist as a restauranteur? 84-year-old Karachi-born, British-based artist Rasheed Araeen has rejected showing in galleries in favour of opening a new restaurant. Serving masala chicken sausages, the artist’s minimalist sculptures form table bases in his art space.
While the world tries to decide if Maurizio Cattelan’s duct-taped banana was an appealing work of art (a cornucopia of opinions can be read here, here and here), Darren Bader’s new installation of fruits and vegetables at the Whitney Museum has patrons lining up for a taste. Bader is best known for his 2012 piece Lasagna on Heroin.
Sure, fresh food is lovely to see, but blight can be beautiful. Rudolf Blaschka’s glass models of decomposing fruits are proof that nature is most definitely its own harshest critic.
Speaking of critics, we can’t overlook those who disagree with us that food, and dining, is an art. Esteemed writer and editor Ruth Reichl once declared: “Food isn't art. Cooking, however, can be’.
All food for thought. We would be remiss to not mention the OG Pop Art foodie, Claes Oldenburg. The birthday boy turned 91 recently, so come by and see his 1963 sculpture Ice Cream Soda with Cookie. It’s on view now on Level 1 in the Philip B. Lind Gallery (Gallery 131).