This essay touches on continuities between Thiebaud’s food paintings and his landscape paintings, and on the ways his landscapes broach the seemingly irreconcilable differences between abstraction and representation. Centrally, it engages the ways in which his landscape paintings, focusing on the ecologies of California, engage major human concerns about place, space, and habitation.
These papers, drawn from our cochaired session, The Gustatory Turn in American Art, at the College Art Association 2017 Annual Conference, illustrate how artists and viewers have used the platform of food to investigate connections between aesthetics and social politics. Contributors include Katherine Manthorne, Aileen Tsui, Lauren Freese, and Margaretta Lovell.
Margaretta M. Lovell, Jay D. McEvoy, Jr., Professor of American Art, Art History Department, University of California, Berkeley
The visual rhetorics incorporated into these images trigger (in different ways) both physical appetite and social appetite, and their mechanisms for doing so appear to have remained constant in recent decades despite new competition from expansive digital venues. They incorporate power relations, aesthetic pleasure, and voyeurism. But food aesthetics are neither universal nor isolated; they echo (and feed) the cultural and political contexts in which they circulate so we can see change over time within underlying sameness.
A Dash for the Timber, one of Frederic Remington’s (1861–1909) largest and most characteristic works, was acquired by the collector, Amon Carter, in 1945, and hangs today in the museum bearing his name in Fort Worth, Texas.
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