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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sweets the Subject of Contemporary Art Show

Posted By on Wed, Nov 10, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Peter Anton, "Continental Assortment." - SCOTT RICHARDS CONTEMPORARY ART
  • Scott Richards Contemporary Art
  • Peter Anton, "Continental Assortment."

Considering how much of our lives are spent longing for sweets, most of us are unmoved to dissect our urges ― funny, since we grow up amassing so much material. Childhood collects its own source-pile of candy paraphernalia: pilled foil wrappers from Hershey's Kisses mingling with the lint in our pockets, the rattle of Lemonheads in their box, cotton candy compressing into sticky fuchsia residue around white paper cones. Once we become sexual, our longing settles on layer cakes, pink pastry boxes wicking butterfat from slablike Napoleons, ice cream studded with nubbly candy bits.

A group art show at Scott Richards Contemporary Art near Union Square promises to illuminate these urges. "Sweet Tooth" rounds up works by Wayne Thiebaud and Mel Ramos, Alex Blau, Peter and Madeline Powell, Doug Webb, and Tjalf Sparnaay, among others, in a show the curators hope will prove self-reflective:

For centuries, the subject of candy and desserts has ... served as an ideal metaphor for human experience. It evokes simple nostalgia and shared memories, while tapping into the deeper realm of human desire. The longing for sweets echoes the pull of erotic pleasure, seduction and decadence, and their inevitable transience. At the same time, commercial sweets can serve as a means to expose our artificial, consumerist culture.
If that sounds uncomfortably like the syllabus for a graduate English seminar, consider this: At least you'll get to look at pretty pictures of cake and candy. Right?

Scott Richards Contemporary Art: 251 Post (at Stockton), Suite 425, 788-5588. "Sweet Tooth" show ends Dec. 31.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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