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Lawrie Brown, Colored Food Series Photographs, 1982


The exhibition explored the role of food coloring and how vision influences our interpretation of the colors of our food

May 22, 2023 – November 25, 2023

The cliché of “a visual feast” supports the belief in an inextricable connection between our sense of taste and our sense of sight. In contrast to other clichés, however, this argument is a carefully researched scientific finding. While the visual allure of food is amplified in the current age of consumption and is supported by displays on social media, this phenomenon is not unique to modern society; indeed, the sensory fusion between taste and smell was already acknowledged in ancient Greece.

Lawrie Brown, Colored Food Series Photographs, 1982 Lawrie Brown, Colored Food Series Photographs, 1982

Lawrie Brown, Colored Food Series Photographs, 1982

At the dawn of human civilization, hunter-gatherers relied on color when gathering their food. In ancient Egypt, candy confectioners enhanced the color of sweets by means of plant extracts and wine in order to amplify their seductive power. At present, foods with bold, bright, artificial colors create an expectation for bold, rich flavors. At the same time, growing awareness of the dangers inherent to industrial food products and synthetic food coloring has led to a demand for the use of natural ingredients, requiring food producers and marketing specialists to creatively select the colors and additives employed in the marketing of food.

The exhibition “Colored” focuses on the ability of our sense of sight to read, interpret and analyze the color, flavor, and cultural meanings of different foods. Its five chapters explore a gamut of foods, ranging from food that has been stripped of its original color, to foods whose fantastic colors do not exist naturally, colorful packaging that alludes to the quality of the food, natural plant and animal-based food colorings, and the color black, which alludes at once to an end and a beginning. These colors, which lack all nutritional value, are the cause and sometimes also the result of intentional or arbitrary technological and natural processes, as well as of marketing manipulations.

The Colored exhibition was part of the Food exhibition.

Colored Exhibition

Aurimas Kadzevicius, Bee Loop | Bioforcetech | DAVID Miami and INGO Stockholm | Elaine Yan Ling Ng | Fabula | Ferrara Pan Candy (manufacturer) | Isaac Monté | Jelly Belly (manufacturer) in collaboration with Warner Bros. | Kosuke Araki | Krill Design | Lawrie Brown, Mizuiro Inc. | Naama Nicotra | Pepsico (manufacturer) | Rob Flowers | Shahar Livne | Sugar Lab | Tamar Kalif | Wrigley (manufacturer) | Yulia Fitie