Group Exhibition “FOOD for THOUGHT”

Dates: Sep 17 – Nov 12, 2023
Location: Taka Ishii Gallery Maebashi
Opening reception: Sunday, Sep 17, 17:30 – 19:30

Taka Ishii Gallery Maebashi is pleased to present “FOOD for THOUGHT” from September 17 to November 12, 2023, a group exhibition on how food relates to art.

Food (n)
Anything serving for consumption or use: food for thought. 

Thought (n)
The product of mental activity; that which one thinks: a body of thought.

Random House Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary (Random House, 2001)

Food has been portrayed in art to symbolize ideas such as identity, time, life, and culture. A lot can be told about a person by looking at some of their favorite dishes. Food not only provides needed sustenance but also, like art, provides immense pleasure.

Food is part of our everyday life and as so, it has been depicted in different ways throughout history. Still life of fruits and vegetables with human-made ceramics and glasses for daily use show local products from different countries, regions, and seasons. Fruits and flowers decay in Mario García Torres’s still-life video, while there occurs an argument about the different meanings a work is forced to have through different moments in time in a posthumous letter addressed to Mexican painter Hermenegildo Bustos. On the other hand, the Cubist painter Georges Braque and contemporary artists David Hockney and Sterling Ruby tackle the traditional genre of painting, and the playful photograms of Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama offer a fresh approach to the medium. Scenes of appreciating food can also be seen in works by Nobuyoshi Araki, Tomoo Gokita, Yoshitomo Nara, Ikko Narahara, and Yutaka Takanashi.

This exhibition will also show a selection of calligraphic works and functional ceramics from the Mingei movement in Japan, which evolved around the idea of beauty and craftsmanship in everyday objects. Featured artists include the advocators of the Mingei movement: Shoji Hamada, Kanjiro Kawai, and Soetsu Yanagi, and Jiro Kinjo, who produced pottery unique to Okinawa while incorporating the philosophy of Mingei. Their works remind us to reflect on even our way of living and the exquisiteness of artisan’s work.
Ceramics such as pottery are baked like bread in the oven, then used for cooking and eating. It is difficult to think of an art form that is more elemental, or more focused on food and drink. Varying in sizes, the surface of ceramic bowls by William J. O’Brien retains the unpredictable flow and mixture of glazes made during their production.

Food in Pop art and Conceptual art, food as an experience through performance and performance through cooking ― food speaks to the soul, through the cultural, political, economic, and social relations between humans and food.

Presented works are by Nobuyoshi Araki, Georges Braque, Kenji Funaki, Mario García Torres, Tomoo Gokita, Shoji Hamada, David Hockney, Goro Kakei, Shoji Kamoda, Kanjiro Kawai, KERAMIKOS, Jiro Kinjo, Daido Moriyama, Kyoko Murase, Yoshitomo Nara, Ikko Narahara, William J. O’Brien, Pablo Picasso, Sterling Ruby, Tatsuzo Shimaoka, Yutaka Takanashi, Hitoshi Tsukiji, and Soetsu Yanagi.

Other gallery artists will participate with their favorite recipes, including Mario García Torres, Tomoo Gokita, Graciela Iturbide, Yoshitomo Nara, Sterling Ruby, and Cerith Wyn Evans among others.

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