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“Molecular Still Lives” Show the Science in Our Food in Us

Still Life with Gastric PeptideMia Brownell

My grandfather wasn’t a big farmer, but his small garden in Kentucky was a miracle. There was rhubarb, corn, and peppers a-plenty, but mostly I remember the tomatoes. He bred his own, saving the seeds of the best specimens every year. By the time he was getting well into life, his tomatoes were outlandishly proportioned, irregular in shape, and incredibly delicious.

I thought about his garden when I saw the latest paintings by Mia Brownell, in her show Delightful, Delicious, Disgusting. It is currently on view at Juniata College Museum of Art in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

Brownell has been painting what she calls “molecular still lives” for over a decade. She begins most works with a base of abstract, swirling forms

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