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MOCA Cleveland announces fall 2014 exhibitions
Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity emphasizes the role of drawing in Adrià’s quest to understand creativity.

CLEVELAND, OH.- MOCA Cleveland opened its fall 2014 exhibitions on September 26 with Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity, which The New York Times calls “an exuberant, engrossing overview” of the culinary artist widely considered to be the world’s greatest chef. “The dishes that Mr. Adrià and his collaborators painstakingly created at [famed restaurant] El Bulli during more than two decades,” says the Times’ Roberta Smith, “were about as close to art as food gets.” The exhibition, which comes straight from a successful run earlier this year in New York, focuses on the visualization and drawing practices of the master chef.

MOCA also presents Kirk Mangus: Things Love, the first museum survey of the ceramicist Kirk Mangus, accompanied by a comprehensive monograph. An internationally recognized artist with deep local roots, Mangus was a dedicated teacher and mentor at Kent State University for 30 years. Mangus’s unique style, characterized by a playful gesture, roughhewn forms, and experimental glazing, has influenced countless artists in the Northeast Ohio region and beyond.

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity
(September 26, 2014 – January 18, 2015)
Curated by Brett Littman
Organized by The Drawing Center, NY

Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity 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.

Says MOCA Executive Director Jill Snyder: “The exhibition recognizes the conception of gastronomy as an art form in itself, collecting sketches, photographs, and ultimately ideas that translate an internationally recognized chef into an innovative artist and creative figure.”

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 his famed restaurant in Spain, 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 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 Adrià’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.

Ferran Adrià Acosta (b. 1962 in Barcelona, Spain). In April 1984, Adrià joined the team of elBulli in the position of Chef de Partie. By 1987, Adrià began to use ingredients, techniques, and regional influences that reinterpreted “haute cuisine.” Until 1993, the Mediterranean style defined much of the cuisine of elBulli and exerted an important influence on the Catalan and Spanish cuisine of this period. However, beginning in 1990, Adrià incorporated tapas, spoons, skewers, jellies, and savory ice cream—concepts that reached their full expression by 1994. From that time on, three pillars characterized the cuisine of elBulli: continual research of new cooking techniques; an emphasis on the role of the senses in the art of creating and eating; and the sixth sense, that is to say, the role of reason and reflection on the act of eating. Adrià’s trademark cuisine was served to the elBulli diner in the form of an extensive tasting menu, which grew to more than forty dishes in the final years of elBulli. Beginning in the late 1980s, Adrià established a culinary season that was divided into two parts: six months of service in the restaurant and six months of research and creativity. The latter activity was carried out in different locations until 2000, when elBullitaller was opened in Barcelona. This change marked an evolution in the cuisine of elBulli, leading to the bestowal of three Michelin stars in 1997, and the title of “Best Restaurant in the World” by Restaurant Magazine in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. The accolade “Chef of the Decade” was presented to Adrià in 2010 by the same magazine.

Kirk Mangus: Things Love
(September 26, 2014 – January 18, 2015)
Curated by Rose Bouthillier, Associate Curator

MOCA is also presenting the first comprehensive museum exhibition of Kirk Mangus (1952-2013), who served as the head of the Kent State Ceramics Department from 1985 up until his death. This retrospective explores the breadth of his work in clay, prolific drawing and writing practice, and influence in the region and beyond.

Mangus drew from a range of aesthetic inspirations, from comics to prehistoric animal figures, modernist abstraction, Japanese woodblock prints, and Meso-American, Asian, and European ceramic traditions. Mangus is known for his playful, gestural style, roughhewn forms, and experimental glazing. The exhibition presents the full span and range of his ceramic works, from smaller cups and vases to larger vessels and sculptural forms. Mangus played a vital role in the revival of wood-firing in the US. He was mentored by renowned ceramicist Toshiko Takaezu, and during his lifetime showed alongside other key figures in American ceramics, including Rudy Autio, Jun Kaneko, Peter Voulkos and Betty Woodman.

Rose Bouthillier, MOCA’s associate curator and curator of Things Love, states: “Kirk Mangus was a profoundly dedicated artist and teacher, and his influence extends throughout the region and beyond. He organized his life around art, and was always making, always seeking out new knowledge. His incredibly diverse body of work expresses a philosophy and approach to life: an open, impassioned way of thinking about and experiencing the world.”

Kirk Mangus (1952, Sharon, PA–2013, Kent, OH) was an innovative ceramicist whose work has influenced multiple generations of artists. Mangus received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Washington State University, Pullman. Mangus was an artist in residence for two years at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, and a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in 1980. In 1982 he returned to his parents’ farm in Pennsylvania to build a large wood kiln with handmade bricks, which became a site for annual gatherings and firings for a many ceramicists. Mangus was the Head of Ceramics at Kent State University from 1985-2013, and also taught at Alfred University Summer School, Cleveland Institute of Art, and Cranbrook Academy of Art. He lectured widely in China, Japan, Korea, France, Italy, Finland, Lithuania, Canada, and throughout the United States. He received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, four Ohio Arts Council Fellowships, a Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Fellowship, and a McKnight Fellowship. Mangus’s work is held in numerous collections, including at the Cleveland Museum of Art; Cranbrook Art Museum, Bloomfield Hills, MI; Finnish Craft Museum, Helsinki; Inchon World Ceramics Center, Suwon, Korea; and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea.

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