Eating the Universe

The art of eating

Eat Art is a genre of the fine arts that features works that are partially or completely comprised of edible materials. The genre originated in Düsseldorf in 1970 when the Swiss object artist Daniel Spoerri opened the Eat Art Gallery there. With his concept of edible art, Spoerri wanted to radically redirect artistic reflection to matters of practical life, in particular, food and eating. As a result, Spoerri's use of food expanded the definition of art to a spectacular degree. Many of his works expressed socially critical positions, condemning abundance and waste as drawbacks of affluence in a consumer society. "Transience" became a central theme and characteristic feature of his pieces.
This exhibition examined the beginnings and development of Eat Art. Reviewing a wide range of artworks, it investigated how the themes of Eat Art were depicted in works by a younger generation of international artists who have increasingly returned to edible materials since the 1990s - in pictures, sculptures, installations, performances and actions. Against the background of current social developments, the artistic dialogue between these older and newer artworks initiated a re-examination and discussion of the themes of Eat Art. The exhibition curator Magdalena Holzhey also emphasized the social topicality of food in the exhibition - such as identity-forming eating habits, modern dietetics, cookery shows, and criticism of consumption and globalisation in connection to modern food production.

Curator: Magdalena Holzhey
Assistant curator: Renate Buschmann
Artists: Sonja Alhäuser, Arman, BBB Johannes Deimling, Joseph Beuys, Christine Bernhard, Michel Blazy (F), John Bock, Paul McCarthy (USA), César, Arpad Dobriban (H), Dustin Ericksen/Mike Rogers, Lili Fischer, Thomas Feuerstein, Anya Gallacio (GB), Carsten Höller, Christian Jankowski, Bernd Jansen, Elke Krystufek (A), Peter Kubelka (A), Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Lindner, Bernhard Luginbühl, Gordon Matta-Clark (USA), Antoni Miralda und Dorothee Selz, Tony Morgan (GB), L.A. Raeven (NL), Thomas Rentmeister, Zeger Reyers (NL), Philip Ross, Dieter Roth, Mika Rottenberg (USA), Judith Samen, Shimabuku (JP), Daniel Spoerri (CH), Jana Sterbak (CN/CZ), André Thomkins, Günther Uecker, Ben Vautier, Andreas Wegner, Günther Weseler and others.

Venues and schedule:
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, 28 November 2009 - 28 February 2010
Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck, 24 April - 20 June 2010
Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, 18 September 2010 - 9 January 2011


Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Grabbeplatz 4

40213 Düsseldorf (external link, opens in a new window)