Darren Bader’s Edible Exhibition To Open At The Whitney On January 15

From January 15 to February 17, 2020, the Whitney’s eighth floor gallery will be the site of fruits, vegetables; fruit and vegetable salad. The exhibition is comprised of an untitled work by Darren Bader from the Whitney’s permanent collection—acquired in 2015 and never before presented at the Museum—featuring a selection of fruits and vegetables presented as sculptures on pedestals. Through this organizing principle, Bader calls attention to the formal properties of the objects’ colors, shapes, lines, and textures.

Image credit: Darren Bader, no title, not dated. Fruits, vegetables; fruit and vegetable salad, dimensions variable. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from Sascha S. Bauer and Eleanor Heyman Propp 2015.108. © Darren Bader. Image courtesy the artist and Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York

At scheduled times throughout the week—Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays from 3–6 pm, and Fridays from 7:30–10 pm—museum staff will remove the ripened fruits and vegetables from the pedestals. Rather than disposing of the produce, Bader has instructed that a fruit and vegetable salad should be created. While the gallery sits empty, the washing, slicing, dicing, and chopping of the produce in the Museum’s Studio Cafe kitchen will be captured on video and projected in the gallery for visitors to observe. The fruit and vegetable salad will then be served in the gallery and visitors will be invited to eat it. Museum staff will refresh the artwork with a new selection of produce, and the process will repeat.

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked, “Rigorous, funny, and strangely uncanny, Bader’s work tests not only what an artwork can be but also what a museum can collect and how we display it. We’re thrilled to show this recent acquisition for the first time, though we recognize it might not taste as good as it looks.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

In fruits, vegetables; fruit and vegetable salad, Bader creates a visual and participatory experience from everyday objects that continues the artist’s ongoing examination of readymade art, as well as his investigation of art as concept, language, and commodity.

fruits, vegetables; fruit and vegetable salad is an opportunity to be nimble in showcasing a work from the Whitney’s collection, and to collaborate with an artist the Museum first showed in the 2014 Biennial. This work’s absurdist yet sincere premise is particularly apropos in our current climate, and I hope viewers will engage through close looking, questioning, and salad-consumption,” said Christie Mitchell, senior curatorial assistant.

Darren Bader (b. 1978, Bridgeport, CT) lives and works in New York. Solo shows of his work held in institutions include (@mined_oud), Madre, Naples, (2017-2018); Meaning and Difference, The Power Station, Dallas (2017); Reading Writing Arithmetic, Radio Athènes–Athens (2015); Where Is a Bicycle’s Vagina (and Other Inquiries) or Around the Samovar, 1857, Oslo (2012); Images, MoMA-PS1, New York (2012). Awarded the Calder Prize in 2013, Bader has taken part in numerous group exhibitions and biennials including the following: 13éme Biennale de Lyon. La vie moderne, Lyon (2015); Under the Clouds: From Paranoia to the Digital Sublime, Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto (2015); 2014 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2014); Antigrazioso, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2013); Something About a Tree, FLAG Foundation, New York (2013); Empire State, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2013); Oh, you mean cellophane and all that crap, The Calder Foundation, New York (2012); Greater New York, MoMA-PS1, New York (2010); To Illustrate and Multiply: An Open Book, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2008).

This exhibition is organized by Christie Mitchell, senior curatorial assistant.

The Whitney Museum of American Art is located at 99 Gansevoort Street between Washington and West Streets, New York City. Museum hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10:30 am to 6 pm; Friday from 10:30 am to 10 pm. Closed Tuesday except in July and August. Adults: $25. Full-time students, visitors 65 & over, and visitors with disabilities: $18. Visitors 18 years & under and Whitney members: FREE. Admission is pay-what-you-wish on Fridays, 7–10 pm. For general information, please call (212) 570-3600 or visit whitney.org.