Lou Dorfsman Brings Culinary Art to CIA

For the last 25 years one of the world's largest modern typographic artworks has been hidden away in a basement on Long Island. This will change in January of 2014 when the work "Gastrotypographicalassemblage" will become the focal point of The Culinary Institute of America's new Marriott Pavilion and Conference Center in Hyde Park, New York. The creation of legendary CBS Art Director and Designer Lou Dorfsman, the work measures more than 33 feet wide and 8 feet tall, and consists of more than 1,650 individual letters spelling out culinary terminology and expressions, as well as 65 food-related objects.

From 1966 to 1989, Gastrotypographicalassemblage was on display in the staff dining room at CBS Network headquarters in the legendary Black Rock building in New York City. There it captured the imaginations of both visitors and employees, but in 1989 the work was removed during a renovation. Without a new home, it was saved from the landfill by designer Nick Fasciano and Lou Dorfsman, who stored the mural for more than two decades while he worked to find it a new venue.

The artwork was introduced to The Culinary Institute of America by a long-standing member of the Board of Trustees, and the college's leadership determined that the CIA would make a perfect new home for the mural containing 255 culinary words and phrases. Following an extensive restoration, this significant piece of American design history will serve as a focal point in the college's Marriott Pavilion, currently under construction. The CIA will be proud to display Gastrotypographicalassemblage to the CIA community and to the leaders of the foodservice and hospitality industry when they attend the college's thought leadership programs in the new 800-seat theatre and conference center.

"Lou Dorfsman's work shows us the aesthetic and historical value of thoughtful design, and it offers visitors a glimpse into the nation's burgeoning awareness of food and culture in the 1960s," says Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the CIA. "This artwork was created in the era when Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein re-imagined images of soup cans and hot dogs as fine art. By displaying it in a truly public setting for the first time, the college hopes to further build the reputation of the Hudson Valley as a destination for not only the culinary arts but the arts in general."

Currently in the final stages of restoration in Nick Fasciano's studio on Long Island, Gastrotypographicalassemblage will make its debut this winter when the Marriott Pavilion opens to the public.


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