Gauguin Exhibit Brings Polynesia To The Pacific Northwest

There’s still time to catch “Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise” at the Seattle Art Museum

Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise At Seattle Art MuseumA part of Polynesia was transported to the Pacific Northwest in February with the arrival of the only US stop of the exhibit Gauguin & Polynesia: An Elusive Paradise. This landmark exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) highlights the complex relationship the famed painter had with his favorite subject, the people and culture of Polynesia.  Running until April 29th  (tickets available online), the exhibition showcases the work of the gifted and troubled painter who many see as the father of post-Impressionism and essentially the first modern artist, displaying about 50 of Gauguin’s brilliantly hued paintings, sculptures and works on paper. Excellent context is also provided as Gauguin’s works is shown alongside 60 major examples of Polynesian sculpture that fueled Gauguin’s search for the exotic. What you’ll see at SAM is some of the artist’s best work produced during the last 17 years of his life including “Reclining Tahitian Women” and ‘Tehamana Has Many Parents.” Organized by the Art Centre Basel, the show is comprised of works on loan from some of the world’s most prestigious museums and private collection.

Beyond the invaluable artwork on display by the French ex-pat painter (some of his works have fetched prices of over $40 million at auction), SAM has come up with an innovative way to celebrate the event, allowing the chefs at its TASTE Restaurant to create fusion fare that combines elements of French, Polynesian and Pacific Northwest ingredients and flavors.

TASTE Restaurant’s Interpretations of SAM Gauguin Exhibit

Chefs Paul Rosquita and Craig Hetherington

Chefs Paul Rosquita and Craig Hetherington

Chefs Craig Hetherington and Paul Rosquita have created a diverse tasting menu that explores this wide palette of flavors, harmonizing the various cuisines into a dining experience that echoes the art on display. Guests dining at the restaurant during the exhibit can enjoy dishes such as seared scallops with chevre potato puree, dashi pickled ginger and pine nut shuffle, or Albacore poke, with Bibb lettuce, fried potatoes and sesame. Also featured during the run of the exhibit are fried taro root with edamame puree & radish salad or Tahitian vanilla prawn skewer and cilantro oil. For something a little more potent, the show’s signature cocktail is the Hiva Oa with Hot Monkey Pepper Vodka mango, basil and fresh lime.

Much like Gauguin’s paintings, the menu pushes boundaries and might even contain a few masterworks waiting to be discovered.

For more information on TASTE restaurant check out their TASTE blog.

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