Oklahoma Contemporary Announces Opening of Art of Food Exhibition

OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 12, 2023 –

Hungry? Whet your creative appetite with some of the biggest names in contemporary art. 

The Art of Food: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation hits the OKC table with opening celebrations Feb. 9. From cultural ethos to land use, The Art of Food invites visitors to consider the subject of food as fuel for more than our bodies. 

Offering something for every palette, the traveling exhibition presents more than 100 works in a variety of media by artists you know (think: Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst) and some you may not — but should — like Enrique Chagoya and Hung Liu.

“The Art of Food presents a unique opportunity for audiences in our region to experience a group exhibition featuring some of the most consequential artists of the postwar and contemporary era,” says Oklahoma Contemporary Director Jeremiah Matthew Davis. “From Jasper Johns and hometown hero Ed Ruscha to Jenny Holzer and Lorna Simpson, works by 36 artists on the themes of foodways, agriculture and community combine to create a visual feast at once delicious and profound.” 

The Art of Food asks Oklahomans to consider where their food is from, as well as the ways in which food and society inform one another. Farming is an integral part of Oklahoma’s history and character. Working hard and putting food on the table resonates with the region’s culture and self-image. At the same time, immigrants from all over the world — particularly Mexico and Vietnam — bring culinary traditions that enliven Oklahoma’s social landscape. 

At a time when politics surrounding food — its production, regulation and distribution — dovetail with questions about land use, climate change and animal welfare, The Art of Food challenges audiences to think beyond food as sustenance. The exhibition invites viewers to think of food as a language used to depict the dynamic lives of people around the world. 

Cumulatively, the exhibition captures the myriad ways that artists of the 20th and 21st centuries have considered food, a universal subject made even more topical by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Food is complex,” said Olivia Miller, the exhibition’s curator. “Not only is it a physical necessity, but it is also integral to our communities, relationships, cultures and memories. It’s a commodity, it’s a livelihood and it has ethical implications. This exhibition explores all of these facets of food and prompts us to consider our own relationships with it.” 

This exhibition was organized by the University of Arizona Museum of Art in partnership with the the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation and curated by Miller, interim director and curator of collections, University of Arizona Museum of Art. Jordan Schnitzer, a businessman and philanthropist, regularly lends works from his private collection to qualified institutions. The more than 100+ pieces in Art of Food come from this collection, which contains more than 20,000 works. 

"We are excited to partner with Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center to present The Art of Food exhibition,” Schnitzer says. “This is a fantastic opportunity to view art that explores the universal theme of food through the eyes of some of the world's most important contemporary artists. Truly a feast for the eyes and mind!" 

Like a well-planned meal, visitors will find familiar favorites and new-to-them dishes. 

“While some works will be immediately recognizable to visitors, others offer moments of surprise,” Davis says. “For example, the show includes several iconic works of Pop Art by Andy Warhol, but also two early-career watercolors painted by the artist while a young man in Pittsburg prior to embarking on his career in New York.” 

For visitors craving more, Oklahoma Contemporary offers a hands-on Learning Gallery along with a full menu of programs, including a talk with Native artist Neal Ambrose Smith and chef Loretta Barrett Oden, Studio School classes, camps and more. (See the list here.) 

Oklahoma Contemporary's installation of this exhibition is supported by The Chickasaw Nation, Richard and Glenna Tanenbaum, George Records, The Kanady Family, Annie Bohanon, Nonesuch, SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital, The E.L. and Thelma Gaylord Foundation, Velocigo, 84 Hospitality and Empire Slice House, and Underground Ghost Kitchen. 

The Art of Food runs in the Eleanor Kirkpatrick Main Gallery through May 22. Admission to the arts center is always free. 

About Oklahoma Contemporary 

At the new, state-of-the-art Oklahoma Contemporary, visitors explore art and creativity through exhibitions, performances and a wide variety of educational programs. At its core, the multidisciplinary contemporary arts organization is an inclusive space. Exhibitions and most programs are free. You are always welcome here. 

In addition to the 8,000 square feet of galleries for visual art, Oklahoma Contemporary’s new downtown home includes a flexible theater, a dance studio and nine classrooms for Camp Contemporary and Studio School. The 4.6-acre grounds also include The Studios, a renovated warehouse that houses ceramics, fiber, painting, printmaking and sculpture classes. Campbell Art Park, our Sculpture Garden and North Lawn lend outdoor space for exhibitions, programs and performances. 

After providing contemporary art experiences of all kinds for 30 years at the State Fairgrounds, these new, centrally located facilities dramatically increase Oklahoma Contemporary’s capacity to meet growing demand for arts and culture across our city, state and region. 

Oklahoma Contemporary is a regional 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization founded in 1989 by businessman and philanthropist Christian Keesee and Kirkpatrick Foundation Director Marilyn Myers. 

About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation 

At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Ore., contemporary art gallery, evolving into a lifelong avocation as collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 20,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions. The Foundation has organized over 120 exhibitions and has had art exhibited at over 160 museums. Schnitzer is also president of Schnitzer Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit jordanschnitzer.org. 

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Media Contacts:

Lori Brooks | 405.951. 0000 | lbrooks@okcontemp.org 

Downloads:

Press Release (PDF)

Media Kit

2023-01-23T23:23:38+00:00
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