The subject of food has long been the focal point of great works of art—from Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper to Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans series. Recently, the Studio Museum in Harlem assembled a new exhibit titled Palatable: Food and Contemporary Art, showcasing the work of contemporary artists and their use of food as a means to address issues of politics, memory, heritage, race and culture. All the work is from artists of African descent. Artist Benny Andrews, who died in 2006, was a teacher, painter and printmaker with a strong sense of social justice, who the year before his death traveled to the Gulf Coast and worked as an art teacher with children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. His powerful piece Poverty is an examination into not bounty but lack of food.
Andrews, Benny. Poverty (America Series). 1990.
Oil and graphite on paper with painted fabric collage, 50¼” x 38¾”.
Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, NY, NY.
Food and Contemporary Art (through June 26th)
The Studio Museum in Harlem
144 West 125th Street, NY, NY