Food & Art: Janet Fish, Kraft Bottles, 1973


As someone who remembers a time when glass packaging was the norm for lots of supermarket products, I have taken a recent interest in the paintings of Janet Fish. I first discovered her work while browsing the art section of a local bookstore, and I was struck by many elements of her paintings. Aside from my basic admiration of her technical prowess (especially when it comes to painting glass-related still lifes), I really enjoy the sense of nostalgia that many of her paintings elicit.

My favorite Fish paintings are those that recall items that I remember from my childhood. Her still life of Kraft dressings, in particular, was very interesting to me. Those thick, textured glass bottles of dressings were ubiquitous in almost any American refrigerator in the 1970s. I had pretty much forgotten about them, since Kraft dressings have come in smooth, thin plastic bottles for years and years now. Too bad. The basic shape of the Kraft bottle is still the same, but the character is completely lost.

Fish was born in Boston in 1938, and is considered an American Realist. She was raised in Bermuda, and her grandfather was Clark Voorhees, the American Impressionist. Despite her classification as a Realist, Fish’s paintings also have an element of Impressionism to them, which I like. Please click here for a link to other Janet Fish paintings.

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