MAD Unveils ‘Eat Drink Art Design’ Exhibition, Adds New Curator

New at MAD: Sol LeWitt’s hand-etched crystal glasses for Artel (2003) and new curator Ronald T. Labaco

Who needs to watch Julia Roberts eat-pray-loving her way across the big screen when you can admire trailblazing tableware created by the likes of Roy Lichtenstein, Jurgen Bey, Cindy Sherman, and Boym Partners? These are just a few of the artists and designers featured in “Eat Drink Art Design,” a new exhibition of intriguing cups, plates, silverware, and tea sets. (We’ll take the vaguely menacing Ron Gilad flatware!) On view through March 27 of next year at New York’s Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), the show of 60 pieces—all from the museum’s collection—ranges from handcrafted mid-century pots and elegant spatular implements to more conceptual works such as Dale Chihuly‘s 1968 “Wine Bottle,” which we could swear we once encountered in an organic chemistry laboratory. And even the choosiest mom couldn’t resist taking a closer look at David LaPlantz‘s curious “Skippy’s Peanut Butter Spreader” (1980). “The designers and artists in this exhibition have taken very familiar objects and transformed them in ways that are both beautiful and unexpected,” says MAD associate curator Jennifer Scanlan. Because who needs a saltshaker when you can adorn your table with Boris Bally‘s silver and brass sodium urn?

Also new to MAD is decorative arts and design curator and historian Ronald T. Labaco, who has just been appointed Marcia Docter Curator of the museum. Labaco has been curator of decorative arts and design at the High Museum in Atlanta since 2007, and previously worked as an independent curator and as an assistant curator of decorative arts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. “The Museum of Arts and Design is internationally acclaimed for the originality and boldness of its exhibitions and programming,” said Labaco in a statement announcing his appointment. “I am thrilled to be joining such a talented and distinguished team, and to find ways to further push the envelope with them in the world of contemporary arts and design.” His first day on the job will be October 11. Might we suggest a welcome toast with the museum’s Marvin LipofskyIrv Tepper Memorial Hot Dog Cup“?