October - December At The PM Gallery
New exhibition explores the uses and depictions of food in art
Works include a recreated 1950s chop suey house, a two-metre steel cheese grater and a loaf of bread presented one bite at a time
A new exhibition, featuring the work of seventeen internationally acclaimed artists and presenting many varied examples of the influence of food in art, opens in west London this October. Pot Luck runs from 22 October-5 December 2009 at PM Gallery, the extension to architect Sir John Soane’s home, Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing, west London.
Food has been a recurring subject in the history of art – from mythological scenes and religious paintings, to Pop Art’s celebration of fast food and diner culture and the innovative Futurist Banquets.
A ‘potluck’ is a Native American term for a communal gathering to which each person provides a dish of food to be shared among the group. In a similar way, Pot Luck brings a collection of invited artists, whose serious and humorous contributions cover video, installation, prints, sculpture and photography.
The work includes Anthony Gormley’s Bread Line, which alludes to both the fictitious forest trail left by Hansel & Gretel and the reality of economic divides; the thirteen pharmaceutical lithographs of The Last Supper by Damien Hirst; and the first showing of Cheap Rice by sculptor Subodh Gupta, who creates kitchen landscapes from everyday objects and cooking utensils, in this case a rickshaw and an accumulation of brass cooking pots.
Pot Luck also features newly commissioned installations by Lia Anna Hennig, Aaron Head and Karen Tam, as well as videos of Bobby Baker’s Bobby Baker.
Curator Cynthia Morrison-Bell said ‘Pot Luck was conceived as an informal gathering of artists, where the contribution is sometimes serious, often playful, and where tastes mingle and ideas cross over. You will travel to exotic places and record memories evoked by a familiar tastes. You’ll consider slow food rather then fast food. You’ll be able to sit and socialise in Miss Chinatown, a Chinese restaurant, Canadian style, and leave with your appetite whetted and, hopefully, with some food for thought.’
The route through the exhibition echoes the different courses and flavours of an eating experience, offering different moods and areas to visitors. Eastern flavours give way to still and minimalist pieces, allowing the viewer to contemplate before moving on to the more psychologically intense video work.
Co-curator and exhibiting artist Anthony Key said ‘I have often thought that attending an art exhibition should be as pleasurable as sitting down to a well considered menu – to be fed, entertained and challenged at the same time. This includes having your senses stimulated and opened up to new flavours and ideas; experiencing unfamiliar taste combinations that invite you to see the world slightly differently. This is how I would like Pot Luck to function.’