Feast Your Eyes

Artists dish culinary delights at the Nassau County Museum of Art

IMG_0831Bring your appetite for art to Feast for the Eyes, the newest Nassau County Museum of Art exhibit, drawn from a variety of media and guest-curated by Franklin Hill Perrell.

Food is a necessity of life, but also fun. Eating can be ceremonial at a wedding, gourmet in a fine restaurant, humble as necessary, food at leisure or on the fly. Feast for the Eyes features food from farm, field, and recipes and cooking.

“This is a brilliant curation by Franklin Hill Perrell,” said Nassau County Museum of Art Board President Angela Anton. “It’s fun and exciting, and it made me hungry.”

The challenge arose: find artists who portray foods other than pastries and ice cream, which admittedly are the prettiest subjects. The exhibition features mostly 20th-century works, but a handful are older and some are more recent; surprisingly, almost all food paintings depict dessert.

“Food has always been celebrated in art,” said Perrell, also pointing out that food has been an inspiration from man’s earliest times. “Cavemen were portraying the hunt; the Greeks and Romans portrayed food and feasting.”

Stylistically, the works range from a classic 1908 still life by William Merritt Chase to a 1973 Pop Art painting by Roy Lichtenstein. The New Yorker’s Roz Chast pens humorous cartoons, while illustrator Al Hirschfeld produces Broadway restaurant drawings filled with celebrity diners.

Included are also luscious depictions of food by artists such as Wayne Thiebaud and Ben Schonzeit; Judith Leiber’s fabulous jeweled evening bags in fruit and vegetable shapes; and Berenice Abbott’s photographs of food-related sights in New York.

IMG_6393Curator Perrell pointed out that the exhibition includes quite a number of works by women artists. “They weren’t chosen because they were women, but because they were the highest-quality works.”

A food show would not be complete without Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Chicken Soup Can, and its update, Campbell’s Onion Mushroom Soup Box.

Other major artists in the exhibition are Audrey Flack, Henri Matisse, George Grosz, Red Grooms, Claes Oldenberg and Cindy Sherman.

The exhibit runs through Sunday, Nov. 6. Nassau County Museum of Art is located at One Museum Dr. in Roslyn Harbor. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (62+) and $4 for students and children (4 to 12). Members are admitted free.

Visit www.nassaumuseum.org or call 516-484-9337 for more information and group requests.

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Christy Hinko
Christy Hinko is the editor of Glen Cove Record Pilot.

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