Lyman Allyn Art Museum Displays Oversized, Hyperrealistic Sculptures of Sweet Treats by Peter Anton

NEW LONDON – The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of a tasty new exhibition on July 18 highlighting the works of iconic sculptor and installation artist Peter Anton. The exhibition entitled Sweet Dreams: Confectionery Sculpture, which will be on view through October 18, showcases oversized sculptures of sweets using scale and intensity to lure, charm, ease, disarm and surprise viewers during a time of global distress.

The exhibition, spread through three gallery rooms, will include 35 wondrous, mouth-watering creations. This delightful environment will feature some new pieces created specifically for the exhibition, along with some of Anton’s most notable work. It also will offer a colorful and glorious array of festively decorated donuts with sprinkles, an awe inspiring giant jelly roll, delectable ice cream cones and giant cakes on pedestals, along with other sweet treats, designed to entice food enthusiasts and confectionery aficionados alike.

For Peter Anton, food goes beyond sustenance and obsession, necessity and indulgence; it is a gateway to memory and emotion. His oversized, hyperrealistic confections immediately surprise and delight, calling up childhood memories of frosty popsicles melting in the summer sun and chalky candy hearts received on Valentine’s Day. Boxes of lavishly decorated chocolates come complete with bite marks. Rows of donuts are punctuated by empty rings of glaze. Birthday cakes with slices missing suggest a party happening just offstage. Depicting intrinsically ephemeral objects—foods to be eaten, that melt or decay if unconsumed—his sculptures capture fleeting moments, ones tied to our deepest sense memories.

“I use my sculptures as a way to make people smile and to offer an escape from the regular pressures of daily life. I give them the opportunity to transform themselves to a world of imagination - to a fun and happy place, at least for a short while,” stated Anton. “I think this is especially important with all that has gone on during these recent months. I believe using food and sweets as subject matters can be relatable to everyone, because we all have food in common - we need food to sustain us, as well as to experience very special memories. Food brings people together and there is no better way to celebrate life,” he added.

The process of making a sculpture begins for Anton with an almost reverent exploration of the food itself—its history, how it is made, and a close examination of how it tastes, feels, smells and even crumbles. The labor-intensive artworks, created in his studio in Fairfield, CT are painstakingly rendered over a period of weeks from a variety of materials, including plaster, resin, wood, metal, acrylic and oil paints. All are carefully chosen to most realistically reproduce the textures and colors of the actual food. Anton’s works are represented in a number of museum and corporate collections internationally and his sculptures have been featured in solo exhibitions in the US, Europe and in Asia.

“We are so thrilled to have an iconic, world-renowned sculptor such as Peter Anton exhibiting with us. His work tells a story in a clever and unique way, while at the same time offering an element of surprise and fantasy,” stated Sam Quigley, Director at the Lyman Allyn Art Museum. “With this new exhibition, Peter offers us a way to escape from the pressures of this global pandemic we continue to face – to lighten our hearts, put a smiles on our faces and remember the simpler things that help bring us joy,” he added.

The virtual opening reception will be on Friday, July 24 from 6:00 – 7:00 pm. Please visit the calendar of events tab on lymanallyn.org for event registration information.

Sweet Dreams is supported by the Frank Loomis Palmer Fund, Bank of America, Trustee; the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts; and an anonymous foundation. For more information, please contact Rebecca Dawson by email at dawson@lymanallyn.org.
 

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