Oklahoma Contemporary

Media Release

Hope you’re hungry: 100+ works from prominent contemporary artists explore universal subject of food

January 12, 2023
Works of art in a gallery including a series of prints depicting foods as prescription labels, a print of pink cows on a yellow background and a salt sculpture on a plinth. A logo reads "The Art of Food."

Contact: Lori Brooks | 405 951 0000 | lbrooks@okcontemp.org
Media kit: bit.ly/OC_TheArtofFood

The Art of Food: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation opens in Main Gallery this February

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."

A series of prints depicting a bull ranging from realistic to increasingly abstract representations

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.

Several artworks depicting food in a gallery, including a brightly colored folding screen in the center of the room and framed paintings and prints on the walls

"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, Underground Ghost Kitchen, Vanessa House Beer Company, Factor 110 and Edible OKC.

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

* Find a full artist list on the web or in the media kit.

A media kit featuring this press release, artist list, related programs and high-resolution images can be found at bit.ly/OC_TheArtofFood. Interviews with Oklahoma Contemporary staff, the show’s curator or the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation can be organized through Lori Brooks (lbrooks@okcontemp.org). Past press releases and information are archived at oklahomacontemporary.org/media.

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.


Installation view of The Art of Food at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University, featuring the exhibition’s new logo.

Installation view of The Art of Food at JSMA, including Roy Lichtenstein’s Bull Profile Series (1973).

Installation view of The Art of Food at JSMA, including David Hockney's Caribbean Tea Time (1985-87).

Photos: Deann Orr / Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation.


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