In 2012, Salon 94 of New York hosted Dinner for 24 Dogs, a special project by Nicolas Party. Dinner for 24 Dogs began as a dinner party for 24, with a menu of several dishes conceptualized by Party. Party’s starting point is painting, and in particular the still-life. Here the painting came to life, with a specially-designed set including table, chairs, and plates. He has whimsically painted colorful abstract patterns on both tables and plates, made in New York, and dog portraits drawn on each of the 24 stools.
Describing his practice as one in the tradition of Chardin, Matisse, Morandi and Hockney, Party imagines his still-lifes filled with domestic objects as stages filled with actors. In contrast to Morandi, his scenes are created from imagination, rather than observation. Party uses a regular arsenal of objects in his paintings – typically domestic, food and nature-related. The dinner is a cunning and logical vehicle to expand his practice beyond the conventions of the canvas.
In an event-driven art world, Party hosted his own dinner where scale was shifted – a small quail egg or a single carrot sat on an oversized dish and the table filled the room. Patterns moved from the decorative to the specific. From Judy Chicago’s 70s, feminist, ceremonial banquet, Rirkrit Tiravanija’s ad hoc Vietnamese dinners, a culinary experience by the Mad Hatter, Ferran Adrià, or Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine, we often experience our best conversations over a meal.
Following the dinner performance, the plates, stools and table were reconfigured by the artist and exhibited at Salon 94 Freemans.
Nicolas Party (b.1980 in Switzerland) lives and works in Glasgow. Party’s solo exhibitions include Still Lives and Big Naked Women at Gregor Staiger in Zurich 2012; Still Life, Stones, and Elephants at the Swiss Institute in New York, 2012; Dinner for 24 Elephants at The Modern Institute, Glasgow, 2011; and Elephants at the Woodmill, at The Woodmill, London 2011.
Above image: Nicolas Party, Plate from Dinner for 24 Dogs, 2012. Photograph courtesy of Salon 94.
Any thoughts about this post? Share yours in the comment box below.