Its been several weeks since I visited the “Art and Appetite” show at the AIC. But perhaps the lag in viewing offers a more accurate perception of what I took away from it. My first thought was its appropriate-ness. Perfectly timed for for the holidays and the influx of tourists to the museum, the exhibition provides a sense of comfort and nostalgia–equipt with fun facts on tradition, cuisine, and changing family social structures in America. Presenting paintings (mostly still lives) from a wide variety of American movements, the exhibition draws in the wandering art-goer with the classic Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving painting. This is a perfect work to color the attitude of the show–historical but un-controversal. Pleasant. Familiar. Besides getting a refresher on early American still life painting, I was especially interested in seeing the Alice Neel and Wayne Thiebaud towards the end of the exhibition. Perhaps moreabout the humor and paint itself rather than celebrating food-as-delicious-object (particularly with Neel), these pieces are the strengths of the show in my opinion. Oh but lets not forget the Claes Oldenberg’s hard boiled egg. Talk about as far from “delicious” as one can get! But yes, it is the star.
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