Food

Foodstuffs have long been made into objects that are claimed to be visual works of art: the nineteenth-century pastry cook Marie-Antoine Carême, who was famous for his elaborate sculptures made out of sugar, claimed that confectionery was the principal branch of architecture. But such creations do not raise any aesthetic questions peculiar to food (unless the knowledge that they are edible affects the way we look at them, as Marienne L. Quinet suggests). There is a tendency to dismiss the possibility of an art based on food on the grounds of sharp differences between the putative art and accepted ones. But standard arts themselves differ sharply. Painting is visual, music aural; architecture is spatial, music temporal, dancing both; sculptors create locatable objects, poets create abstract things.
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© Grove Art / OUP

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