The Polygon Gallery presents the Canadian premiere of the delectably colourful traveling exhibition Feast for the Eyes from June 4–August 23, 2020. Curated by writer Susan Bright and Aperture Foundation’s senior editor Denise Wolff, Feast for the Eyes tells the history of photography through the enticing lens of food. Featuring the work of more than 60 of the world’s leading artists from the late 19th century to the 2010’s, including Edward Weston, Ed Ruscha, and Wolfgang Tillmans, the exhibition brings together a mouth-watering assortment of over 100 images from photojournalism to fashion photography, from rare cookbooks to advertising.
Feast for the Eyes is thematically divided into three distinct sections:
Still Life pays homage to photography’s earliest inspiration, still-life painting, with a focus on classical subjects and composition. The images demonstrate how photography has both borrowed from and subverted the genre of still-lifes, while showcasing the technical and artistic potential of the photographic medium. Black-and-white works by British photographer Roger Fenton, one of the world’s first war photographers and an early experimenter with the technology, will be featured alongside works by contemporary American artist Sharon Core, who addresses the notion of reproduction in the Information Age.
Around the Table examines the social and cultural rituals and traditions around food and community. Some highlights include photographs by Weegee (Arthur Felig), who documented everyday rituals around food such as early-morning bagel deliveries in 1930s and 40s New York, and the Foods of the World series of cookbooks published by Time and LIFE, which captured representations of cultural and national identities through food. A special display of both historical and local cookbooks will be showcased adjacent to the section.
Playing With Your Food reveals the intersection of play and humor, by looking at how food ignites the six senses. Carolee Schneeman’s groundbreaking performance Meat Joy NYC (1964) reflects patriarchal views on cooking by visualizing men and women in ecstatic ritual with food. Food’s seductive nature is further tackled in photographs by Grant Cornett, and Joseph Maida’s campy, fantasy-filled imagery uses subtle juxtapositions to address sexuality and sexual orientation in social media.
Other participating artists include: Guy Bourdin, Imogen Cunningham, Roe Ethridge, Marion Faller and Hollis Frampton, Rotimi Fani Kayode, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Daniel Gordon, Rinko Kawauchi, Russell Lee, Laura Letinsky, Vik Muniz, Nickolas Muray, Martin Parr, Irving Penn, Martha Rosler, Stephen Shore, Edward Steichen, Lorenzo Vitturi, Tim Walker, Edward Weston, Hank Willis Thomas, and many others.
Feast for the Eyes first premiered at Foam in Amsterdam, following the 2017 Aperture publication of a book by the same name. The exhibition has since traveled to The Photographer’s Gallery (London) and the Hasselblad Foundation (Gothenburg), and will travel to Akron Art Museum (Ohio) in 2021.
The Canadian premiere will feature an exclusive series of local tastemaker workshops, lectures, and culinary events, led by celebrated Vancouver chef Dave Gunawan (Ubuntu Canteen) and artist Derya Akay.
Ancillary programming will centre on themes of community, nutrition, and sourcing. Kids First Saturdays — June 6, July 4, and August 1 — will bring together children and the adults in their lives for fun, educational art-making activities within the gallery space.
The Polygon Gallery presents Feast for the Eyes
Dates: June 4–August 23, 2020
Address: The Polygon Gallery
101 Carrie Cates Ct
North Vancouver, BC
Photo: Daniel Gordon, Pineapple and Shadow, 2011. Courtesy the artist and James Fuentes
Gallery, New York.
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