Cooking with the Collection: Alex Katz and Andy Warhol

This regular series uses the Akron Art Museum’s collection as a source for inspiration for meals to cook at home. Links to recipes at the end of the post

Warhol:

“I’ll buy a huge piece of meat, cook it up for dinner, and then right before it’s done I’ll break down and have what I wanted for dinner in the first place — bread and jam,” the artist wrote. “I’m only kidding myself when I go through the motions of cooking protein: all I ever really want is sugar.…People expect you to eat protein and you do so they won’t talk.”

Campbell’s Tomato Soup. Andy Warhol. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1928–1987, New York, New York). Screenprint on shopping bag. 24 in. x 17 in. (60.96 cm x 43.18 cm). Museum Acquisition Fund. 1990.9

Re: Soup: he saw it as “the food of life,” Smith said, “a square meal you could depend on.” And Warhol did, regularly.

“Progress is very important and exciting in everything but food” Warhol once stated. “When you say you want an orange, you don’t want someone asking you, ‘An orange what?’”

Some may own, or have at least seen, the first Velvet Underground album, which has a Warhol cover featuring a bright yellow banana. (You could actually peel the banana open on the original copies back in 1967.) source

“I had Campbell’s Soup every day for lunch for about 20 years. And a sandwich.” source

“The reason I’m painting this way is that I want to be a machine, and I feel that whatever I do and do machine-like is what I want to do.” source

Katz:

“you didn’t ask for food in my house, and you didn’t comment on it. You ate it or you didn’t.” source

“a quarter pound of Munster cheese on a white roll and an apple.” source

One of his rules is “no noodling,” which means no fussy brushwork. source

“Minimalism was excluding things, but my work was compression,” he told me one day. As for conceptual art, it was “mostly philosophical ideas, and it comes from universities. A lot of artists don’t master their craft until they’re thirty-five, but you can be a first-class conceptual artist when you’re eighteen.” source

Cooking with the Collection is made possible with support from the Henry V. and Frances W. Christenson Foundation and the Samuel Reese Willis Foundation.

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