For three nights in June the paintings and sculptures of artists such as Patrick Heron, Dame Barbara Hepworth and Frank Auerbach were served at a temporary restaurant set up inside Sotheby’s London. The chef, Ollie Dabbous, who is famous for his divine British dishes made from delicious local ingredients, has received a Michelin star alongside five-star reviews from the likes of A.A. Gill and Fay Maschler.
“When creating each of the dishes I was drawn to the different colours and textures, particularly with the more shape-driven abstract artworks that diners will be surrounded by,” said Dabbous. “I was also very interested in where the artists came from, and the regional stories behind the works, as I am passionate about the locations that I source ingredients from." The six-course menu, which featured dishes entitled From the Land, From the Sea, and Homage to Hepworth, consisted of visually delightful creations echoing the colourful palettes as well as the sense of movement and texture in the surrounding art pieces. Among the artworks from the Modern & Post-War British Art auction was an oil painting entitled St. Pancras Building (1954) by Frank Auerbach estimated at Dhs2,417,846; Forms in Movement, a copper sculpture made by Barbara Hepworth in the 60’s with an estimate of Dhs1,208,339, and Syndney Garden Painting: February 1990:1 by Patrick Heron, estimated at Dhs145,000.
The event continues Sotheby’s tradition of combining haute cuisine, wine and art. In 2015 the auction house collaborated with chef Massimo Bottura who created colourful platters to resemble Damien Hirst’s splash paintings at Sotheby’s New York Contemporary Art Week in 2015. Sotheby’s has successfully ‘curated’ such themed auctions in order to heighten the sensory experience of art viewing while at the same time appealing to wider audiences. This move to combine trend with tradition as well as artistic styles and schools from different regions of the world, gives inspiration to culinary traditions and authentic creations. The events have resulted in turning Sothebys’ auctions into events themselves and establishing the auction house as an influential ‘taste maker’ rather than a mere platform for sales. Sensory experiences such as food tasting or meeting the chef in person allows Sotheby’s to make the overall exhibition viewing and auction process more accessible to new and younger audiences as well as more enjoyable for its existing collector base.
Click through our gallery above to see images from the night. For further information on Sotheby's pop-up restaurant, visit sothebys.com