“Art in restaurants is on the same level as food in museums” – Niles Crane at Turf

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Artists: Erik Benjamins, Kathrin Böhm, Alex Brenchley, Celine Condorelli, Mike Cooter, Simon Dybbroe Møller, George Little, Bruce McLean, Bella Pace, Amanda Ross-Ho, Ettore Sottsass for Alessi

Exhibition title: “Art in restaurants is on the same level as food in museums” – Niles Crane

Curated by: Lauren Godfrey

Venue: Turf, London, UK

Date: August 14 – October 4, 2015

Photography: images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Turf, London

‘“Art in restaurants is on the same level as food in museums” – Niles Crane’, is an exhibition exploring the positioning of food and art within each other’s spaces. Although perhaps not traditionally contextualised together, food and art commonly occupy the same environments, even fusing together at times, with food represented in art – or even as art – in both the gallery and restaurant. As restaurants or cafes have now become the standard within most major museums, and with art adorning the walls of many a dining establishment, each are exploited in the other’s space as an added level of engagement. But to speak of ‘levels’ of food and art is also to bring about their similarities, as potential sources of enjoyment, fulfillment and creativity yes, but also as being both highly concerned with satisfying personal and cultural tastes – and what value we might put on doing so.

For this exhibition Turf’s gallery space is transformed into an ambiguous restaurant-style environment, but the menu here undeniably is art. Encouraging our own reflections on the place-based distinctions between art and food, curator Lauren Godfrey has sourced tables and chairs that double up as plinths for other works, whilst Bella Pace’s commissioned sign adds a further dimension to the site-specificity of the show. Featuring the work of eleven emerging and established artists, and accompanied by a text from Lauren Godfrey, the show draws on historical representations of food in art, as well as current conceptualisations of how the two come together. Considering some of the institutional and conceptual frameworks around food and art, it further draws upon their status as both sensorial and social objects. Visitors are invited to consider these relationships through their own choices and definitions in the space, whilst a series of events accompanying the exhibition encourage further live interaction with these ideas.

Lauren Godfrey is a London-based artist whose recent exhibitions include Entrée, Stage left, a solo show at Kingsgate Workshops, and group show Longing for Leisure at Open Space Gallery, Baltimore, USA.

The exhibition was made possible by the generous sponsorship of Arts Council England and Mayor of London and continues until 4th October (open Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 5pm, or by appointment).

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