The Modern Art Cookbook (Hardcover)

By Mary Ann Caws

Reaktion Books, 9781780231747, 300pp.

Publication Date: October 15, 2013



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, 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.

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, Cezanne'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.

About the Author

Mary Ann Caws is distinguished professor emerita of English, French, and comparative literature and resident professor in the Graduate School at the City University of New York. She is the author of many books on art and literature, including Robert Motherwell with Pen and Brush, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali, all published by Reaktion books.

Praise For The Modern Art Cookbook

“Who wouldn’t want to taste Allen Ginsberg’s borscht, Frida Kahlo’s red snapper, or Cézanne’s baked tomatoesMary Ann Caws—a phenomenal writer, critic, translator, and curator of cultivated pleasures—has assembled an intoxicating mélange of reminiscences, art works, poems, and recipes. This savory compendium offers imaginative satisfactions of the highest order. I can’t wait to bake David Hockney’s strawberry cake!”