In the words of the famous French gastronome Brillat-Savarin (1755-1826), “the pleasures of the table are for every man, of every land, and no matter of what place in history or society.” With that in mind, the exhibition Bon appétit! brings together the accoutrements of welcoming people to a table — industrial and artisanal tools and equipment used for preparing, cooking, and keeping food —that are always attractive, and that celebrate the culinary arts.
The elements addressed are varied: from grocery baskets, kitchen utensils and tableware to the raw and the cooked, water and wine… even, in keeping with sustainable food practices, an edible plate! Some designers combine beauty with utility, form and function, while others redefine the acts of eating and drinking through experimentation or creative projects.
“Fashioned by hand by woodworkers or produced within small craft-based companies, a number of these pieces appeal to the sense of touch: wooden tools, fine china, articles made from textiles or recycled paper, and glass or ceramic cookware. The exhibition pays tribute to several generations of designers, from established masters to those now coming to the fore, who, thanks to their expertise, give meaning to such utilitarian objects and promote a better way of living,” says Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts, and Photography, MMFA.
The exhibition features contemporary pieces by Loïc Bard, Diane Leclair Bisson, Louise Bousquet (Porcelaines Bousquet), Chifen Cheng (Maison Milan), Leïla Chouikh, Gaëlle Couléard, Michel Dallaire, Sol Desharnais, Manuel Desrochers (AQUAOVO), Koen de Winter, Marie-Hélène Beaulieu and Sébastien Duchange, Bob Katz and Sylvain Duchesne (Katz Design Inc.), Stéphane Dumont (Arbol Cuisine), Élyse Leclerc and Gabrielle Falardeau (Jarre), Mario Gagnon (ALTO DESIGN), Denise Goyer and Alain Bonneau (Goyer Bonneau), Audrée L. Larose and Félix Guyon (Larose Guyon), Jean-François Jacques (Météore Design), Tom Littledeer (Les pagaies du gourmet / Littledeer Tools), Patrick Mainville (ALTO DESIGN), Philippe Malouin, Paul Mathieu, Claude Mauffette, Amélie Lucier and Julien Mongeau (A + J Métissage), Jasna Sokolovic and Noel O’Connell (Dear Human Studio), Benoit Orban (ALTO DESIGN), Charles Godbout and Luc Plante, Monique Sainte-Marie (Sainte Marie Design Textile), Guillaume Sasseville (SSSVLL), Anne Thomas (TOMA Objects), Natasha Thorpe and Carlo Trevisani (Maison Milan).
The exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition is curated by Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts, and Photography, MMFA, under the direction of Nathalie Bondil, Director General and Chief Curator, MMFA.
The Museum acknowledges the important contribution of Air Canada in the presentation of the exhibition. It extends its thanks to Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications for its essential support, as well as to the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Canada Council for the Arts for their ongoing support.