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"Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity" opens at The Drawing Center in New York
Ferran Adrià Plating Diagram, ca. 2000-2004. Colored pen on graph paper. Courtesy of elBullifoundation.
NEW YORK, NY.- The Drawing Center presents Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity, January 25 – February 28, 2014, the first major museum exhibition to focus on the visualization and drawing practices of master chef Ferran Adrià. The exhibition emphasizes the role of drawing in Adrià’s quest to understand creativity. His complex body of work positions the medium as both a philosophical tool—used to organize and convey knowledge, meaning, and signification-—as well as a physical object—used to synthesize over twenty years of innovation in the kitchen. Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity begins an international tour at ACE MUSEUM, Los Angeles, CA, May 4 - July 31, 2014, followed by Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, OH, September 26, 2014 - January 18, 2015; Minneapolis Institute of Art, MN, Sept 17, 2015 - January 3, 2016; and Marres House for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, The Netherlands, March 20 - June 12, 2016.

Food culture, like any form of culture, requires outliers, and Ferran Adrià is its provocateur. As one of the most important avant-garde chefs of the twenty-first century, Adrià pushes culinary boundaries with knowledge and wit, transforming the art of food into an art form all its own. Hundreds of notebooks have been filled with concepts, ideas, collaged photographs, and loose sketches for new dishes for elBulli. More straightforward creative methods in the form of lists, tables of ingredients, and cooking methods have also been used to assemble ingredients and conceptualize new ways of cooking. The use of drawing to articulate cuisine (as both product and concept) highlights a creative model that is always in flux and constantly shifting.

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity charts the origins of this innovator’s intellectual and philosophical ideas about gastronomy that have forever changed how we understand food. These ideas are presented as wall graphics, framed prints, and related ephemera. The exterior of a large cube in the center of the Main Gallery features large-scale photographic reproductions of elBulli’s kitchen during service. A series of vitrines around the cube displays a selection of elBulli notebooks documenting menu development, product taxonomies, and personal notes; architectural drawings and a model of the new elBulli Foundation headquarters; elBulli’s plasticine food models; and drawings and prototypes related to elBulli’s dishware, utensils, menus, and graphic identity. Inside the cube Adria’s “working boards” lean against large-scale documentary photographs of the elBulli archive in Barcelona. These boards were used in the elBulli atelier to document and organize research, menu development, and photography. The “working boards” at The Drawing Center include drawings from the 2006 and 2008 elBulli menus, abstract plating drawings and drawings, from Adrià’s Peach Melba project.

The Drawing Center’s Lab gallery screens Documenting Documenta (80minutes, 2011) about Adrià’s participation in Documenta 12, and debuts 1846, a film produced by The Drawing Center, elBullirestaurant, and Mogollon that will feature images of every dish that Adrià served at elBulli (90minutes, 2014). Both works are on a loop that runs continuously during open hours throughout the exhibition’s run.

Curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director.



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