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Eat Drink Art Design

New York, NY (September 15, 2010)

Eat Drink Art Design: Trailblazing Tableware from the MAD Collection, presented by the Museum of Arts and Design from September 21 2010 through March 27, 2011, showcases tableware—cups, plates, silverware, tea sets—that redefines the art of dining. Drawn largely from the museum’s collection, the exhibition features 60 aesthetically delectable pieces from beautifully handcrafted mid-century pots, to elegant flatware and goblets, to more conceptual works by artists who use the familiarity of tableware as a frame for contemporary issues.

The show is organized in four parts: Eat looks at functional tableware, such as the Japanese company Wasara’s simple, yet elegant eco-friendly and disposable tableware, manufactured out of the pulp of reed, bamboo, and bagasse (a byproduct of the sugarcane industry); Drink examines drinking vessels of all kinds, including a very rare spiral-shaped wine bottle created by glass master Dale Chihuly; Art investigates how artists have used tableware as a canvas or font of inspiration, as in Cindy Sherman’s Louis XV-style porcelain tea set, in which she is pictured in the costume of Madame de Pompadour; and Design shows how contemporary designers are rethinking tableware in new works such as the Boym Partner’s “Still Life Table,” from their Ultimate Art Furniture series, which uses found paintings as part of the furniture. ”The designers and artists in this exhibition have taken very familiar objects and
transformed them in ways that are both beautiful and unexpected,” says Associate Curator Jennifer Scanlan.

She cites designer Peter Ting’s installation of plates decorated with decals from the Royal Crown Derby Factory as one of the exhibition highlights. “This installation recalls elaborate table settings for
opulent feasts of the 18th century, while at the same timeshowing a very fresh and contemporary approach to design,” says Scanlan. The installation is accompanied by a video that shows the designer’s collaboration with the artisans at Royal Crown Derby.

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