Off the Menu: Looking at Food

Jun 1 2019 to Aug 11 2019
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Painting by Julia Jacquette

For centuries, artists have used food as a subject—from Dutch still lifes teeming with meats, fruits, and vegetables—to Andy Warhol’s infamous soup cans. This exhibition features work from the Museum’s permanent collection, as well as art borrowed from galleries and studios in Lexington and beyond, to reveal how food can be used to investigate notions of nourishment, ritual, desire, and popular culture.

There are images of healthy meals as well as guilty pleasures; and in several cases, there is a suggestive connection between what is being depicted and the art materials being used to do so. Jennifer Coates’s PBJ, Julia Jacquette’s A Constant Stream, and Lori Larusso’s Imminent Danger each use paint to conjure the expressive potential of food, be it peanut butter and jelly, 
salad dressings and sauces, or cake icing. Photographers Steve Aishman and Sally Davies both explore fast food in performative ways; one with anarchistic spirit in the moment, and the other with a forensic rigor over several years. Heartbreaking drawings by Sue Coe portray the suffering of animals and the draconian conditions of the slaughterhouse; and Louis Zoellar Bickett’s sneakers memorialize his years as a waiter at a la lucie, a legendary local restaurant.  

Kid’s Table is a special component of this exhibition, featuring food-focused works made by children, under the guidance of Jarah Jones at ARTplay Children’s Studio and Georgia Henkel at Sayre School.

Participating artists: Steve Aishman, Andrew Brinkhorst, Jennifer Coates, Sue Coe, Sally Davies, Joe Goode, Julia Jacquette, Lori Larusso, David Lucas, Lina Tharsing, Wayne Thiebaud, and others. 

Julia Jacquette, A Constant Stream, 2014, oil on linen. Courtesy of the artist.

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