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Modern Art Cookbook | Mary Ann Caws, Wayne Koestenbaum, Andrew F. Smith, Arezoo Moseni | Art and Food Series Event


FREE - Berger Forum doors open at 5:30 p.m. 

A gift copy of the book is given to the first audience member asking a question at the end of the discussion

Author and food historian Andrew F. Smith and poet and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum join author and art historian Mary Ann Caws for a conversation moderated by Arezoo Moseni, centering on the newly published The Modern Art Cookbook nominated for 2013 André Simon Food and Drink Award.

Gustav Klimt, Garden Path with Chickens, 1916Gustav Klimt, Garden Path with Chickens, 1916

They converse about the interchange illustrated between the still life and various other artworks concerning food, cooking and eating from Europe and the Americas – from the early moderns through the impressionists, symbolists, cubists, futurists and surrealists up to today’s art – as well as writing about food from contemporary novelists, poets and other writers and the recipes associated with them.  

Matisse, Picasso, Hockney—they may not have been from the same period, but they all painted still lifes of food. And they are not alone. Andy Warhol painted soup cans, Claes Oldenburg sculpted an ice cream cone on the top of a building in Cologne, Jack Kerouac’s Sal ate apple pie across the country, and Truman Capote served chicken hash at the Black and White Ball. Food has always played a role in art, but how well and what did the artists themselves eat? Exploring a panoply of artworks of food, cooking, and eating from Europe and the Americas, Mary Ann Caws' The Modern Art Cookbook opens a window into the lives of artists, writers, and poets in the kitchen and the studio throughout the twentieth century and beyond.
Julian Merrow-Smith, Rougets (Two Little Fish), 2005Julian Merrow-Smith, Rougets (Two Little Fish), 2005
From the early moderns to the impressionists; from symbolists to cubists and surrealists; from the Beats to the abstractionists of the New York School, Mary Ann Caws surveys how artists and writers have eaten, cooked, and depicted food. She examines the parallels between the art of cuisine and the visual arts and literature, using artworks, diaries, novels, letters, and poems to illuminate the significance of particular ingredients and dishes in the lives of the world’s greatest artists. In between, she supplies numerous recipes from these artists—including Ezra Pound’s poetic eggs, Cézanne’s baked tomatoes, and Monet’s madeleines—alongside one hundred color illustrations and thought-provoking selections from both poetry and prose. A joyous and illuminating guide to the art of food, The Modern Art Cookbook is a feast for the mind as well as the palate.
Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing after the audience Q & A.
Edouard Manet, Asparagus, 1880Edouard Manet, Asparagus, 1880Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center of CUNY, recipient of Guggenheim, NEH, Getty, and Rockefeller fellowships, past president of the Modern Language Association, the American Comparative Literature Association, the Association for the Study of Dada and Surrealism, and the Academy of Literary Studies. She is the author of numerous volumes on art and literature, including The Surrealist Look;  Picasso’s Weeping Woman: The Life and Art of Dora Maar; Robert Motherwell with Pen and Brush; Virginia Woolf; Marcel Proust; To the Boathouse: A Memoir; Pablo Picasso; Henry James; Surprised in Translation; Salvador Dalí, and in another vein: Provençal Cooking: Savoring the Simple Life in France, and The Modern Art Cookbook. She edited Surrealist Painters and Poets; Surrealist Love Poems; Surrealism; the Harper Collins World Reader;  the Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry,  and recently, Pierre Reverdy (NYRBooks). She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and lives in New York with her husband, Dr. Boyce Bennett. 
Cesare Tallone, Still-life with Cheese, 1887Cesare Tallone, Still-life with Cheese, 1887
Wayne Koestenbaum has published nine books of nonfiction, whose subjects have included hotels, Harpo Marx, humiliation, Jackie Onassis, opera, and Andy Warhol; his cult classic, The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award in 1993. Koestenbaum’s six books of poetry include Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background and Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films. His newest book, My 1980s & Other Essays, was published in August 2013 by FSG. Koestenbaum is a Distinguished Professor of English at the CUNY Graduate Center. His first solo exhibition of paintings was held at White Columns gallery in New York in Fall 2012.
Edouard Vuillard, Annette with a Loaf of Bread, 1915Edouard Vuillard, Annette with a Loaf of Bread, 1915
Andrew F. Smith has taught food studies courses at the New School since 1995. He is the author or editor of twenty-five books, including his most recent works, Drinking History: 15 Turning Points in the Making of American Beverages (Columbia University Press), the Oxford Encyclopedia on Food and Drink in America (Oxford University Press) and New York: A Food Biography (AltaMira). He serves as the editor for the “Edible Series” and the “Food Controversies Series” at Reaktion Books in the United Kingdom. He has written more than three hundred articles in academic journals, popular magazines and newspapers, and has served as historical consultant to several television series.
American artist Arezoo Moseni (born in Iran), received a BFA at Utah State University, a MA and MFA at the University of New Mexico, and a MLIS at Pratt Institute. Her work has been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions at major venues in the United States and abroad, and it is held in numerous public and private collections including the Brooklyn Museum, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Mead Gallery and Musee de La Photographie. She is the recipient of several fellowships and grants including the Carnegie Corporation of New York | New York Times award, Kentler International Work on Site grant, Yaddo Fellowship and Artists Space Independent Project grant. As NYPL's senior art librarian she curates exhibitions and events at New York Public Library where she has initiated several exhibition and program series featuring the work of emerging and renowned artists, authors, critics, designers and others.
Conceived and organized by Arezoo Moseni, the new Art and Food series events peel back the hidden layers of aesthetics and taste across the literary and visual arts with discussions, presentations and readings by acclaimed artists, authors, chefs, critics, historians and others.