Stamford Museum & Nature Center presents “The Artistry of Jacques Pépin”

“The Artistry of Jacques Pépin” will be on view through January 30, 2022.  An opening reception with the artist will take place on December 2nd from 4-7PM, coinciding with the annual SM&NC Holiday Artisan Market. 

Stamford, Conn The Stamford Museum & Nature Center is pleased to present The Artistry of Jacques Pépin, a retrospective of the celebrated chef and James Beard award winner’s artwork.  The exhibition will feature over seventy works of art from the past five decades.

The exhibition opens to the public on November 19, 2021 and will be on view through January 30, 2022.  An opening reception with the artist will take place on December 2nd from 4-7PM, coinciding with the annual SM&NC Holiday Artisan Market.  Pre-registration for the event is requested at Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday 9AM to 4:30PM, and 11AM to 4:30PM on Sundays.

“We are delighted to introduce Jacques Pépin’s charming visual art to the public,” said Melissa H. Mulrooney, CEO of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. “Jacques’ paintings are a natural extension of his legendary cooking, and his passion for artistic expression is on full display in this show. What a feast.”

Jacques Pépin, known primarily for his pioneering French cooking, began painting over fifty years ago.  Born in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, Pépin has lived in Connecticut since 1975.  His artistic journey began with hand-illustrated menus he created to celebrate mealtime gatherings with family and friends.  He eventually expanded his practice into a creative exploration of animals, farm scenes, still-lifes, and rural landscapes.  Inspired by the world around him, Pépin’s subject matter is especially personal.  

Jacques Pépin’s colorful, spirited paintings are intrinsically tied to his identity as a chef.  Food plays a central role in his artwork, as both inspiration and subject matter.  Pépin has said, “I don’t know whether my painting has helped my cuisine, or whether my cooking has helped my painting, and I don’t know if one borrows from the other.  All I know is that, certainly for me, cooking and painting can live in harmony together.  Both are different expressions of who I am, and both enhance my life considerably.”

Pépin explores his subject matter through a variety of media – oil and acrylic works on paper and canvas highlighted in this exhibition reveal his masterful use of color and his expert handling of the paintbrush.  Whether he is depicting a jovial barnyard chicken or a verdant Connecticut landscape, Pépin’s artwork conveys a charming sensibility. 

“Jacques Pépin’s artworks are as playful as they are captivating,” said Maeve Lawler, Curator of Collections & Exhibitions at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. “Bold color and familiar subject matter draw the viewer in, allowing one to further appreciate the artist’s mastery of paint.”

Jacques Pépin is an acclaimed chef who helped introduce generations of Americans to refined French cuisine through his PBS television series with Julia Child.  The winner of 24 James Beard Foundation awards and the author of over thirty cookbooks, Pépin most recently won the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2019. Pépin’s most recent exhibition, The Artistry of Jacques Pépin, at the Guilford Art Center ran from June 21 – July 21, 2019.

Celebrating 85 years, the Stamford Museum & Nature Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of art, the natural and agricultural sciences, and history. The Museum is a vital cultural and educational resource for the community, and a focal point for family activity and interaction, seeking to inspire creativity, foster self-discovery, and nurture an appreciation for lifelong learning through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events that enhance the visitor’s experience of our unique site.