PALATE, PLATE, PALETTE – group Exhibition
An exploration of Food in Contemporary Art
Curated by Donavan Mynhardt
9 April until 8 May 2019 – Rust-en-Vrede Gallery
Opening Tuesday 9 April at 19h00
“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him…the people who give you their food give you their heart.” – Cesar Chavez
Food is about more than survival. With it we make friends, court lovers, and count our blessings.
Sharing food has always been part of the human narrative. Children make mud pies, have tea parties, trade snacks to make friends, and mimic the rituals of adults. They celebrate with sweets from the time of their first birthday, and the association of food with love will continue throughout their life – and in some belief systems, into the afterlife. For many, some favourite childhood food summons fond memories.
Chef Jacques Pépin’s was a baguette with a square of dark chocolate. For Julia Child, it was a vanilla-and-chocolate ice-cream sandwich.
Food is the place where the needs of the body and the needs of the soul converge, to offer nourishment and meaning in equal measure. A person’s encounter with food can be nostalgic, euphoric or at times deeply unsettling.
‘There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of a bread.” – Mahatma Gandhi
It is no wonder that food has become a symbol of politics, morality, ritualistic behaviour, gender roles, technology, isolation, gluttony and blatant commercialism. The role of food in art history has played an important role in depicting and uncovering these symbolic ideas.
The links between food and art are many. Both can engage multiple senses and prompt immediate, visceral reactions. These reactions – from swooning attraction to violent repulsion – are at once highly subjective and connected to deep-seated, universal instincts.
Alexander Knox, Alice Toich, Amor Jacobs, Amos Letsoalo, André Serfontein, Anton Betz, Buhle Nkalashe, Carla Botes, Caryn Scrimgeour, Corinne de Haas, Corné Eksteen, Craig Cameron-Mackintosh, Diane Mclean, Ella Cronjé, Frank van Reenen, Gary Frier, Gretchen van der Byl, Helena Hugo, Heather Gourlay-Conyngham, Hennie Meyer, Jaco Benade, Jona Schilling, Jonathan van der Walt, Judy Woodborne, Kate van Putten, Kelly John Gough, Kurt Pio, Léan van der Merwe, Lesley Ireland Mathew, Liz Sanchez, Liz van den Berg, Lynie Olivier, Marike Kleynscheldt, Marinda Combrinck, Marli Steyl, Michael Chandler, Oliver Scarlin, Paul Birchall, Paul Painting, Purnaa Deb, Santie de Bruyn, Sarah Walters, Sophie Peters, Stian Bam, Wendy Gaybba and Ydie Coetsee.
Pope, V. The Joy of Food. National Geographic Magazine. 2014.
Catalano, J. Delicious or distasteful: Five modern masterpieces of food in art. Apollo: The International Art Magazine, May 9, 2014.
Fulton, A. Meat and Booze with a Side of Still Life: American Painters on Food. The Salt, NPR Food, December 6, 2013.