Fallen Fruit of Utah brings together two types of collections through the common ground of fruit. One is sweeping – museums and historical archives – and the other is personal and intimate. Fruit is both deeply symbolic and simply decorative, both ordinary and special, sometimes at the same time. Eight historic collections and archives and over twenty families agreed to collaborate with Fallen Fruit to assemble works that range from spiritual and symbolic to representational landscapes to the commonplace (or everyday objects). This exhibition draws our attention to the meaning of fruit, a way to investigate symbolism, the aesthetics of deliciousness, and the bounty and goodness of the familiar.

The installation of this exhibition is part of our collaborative art practice. We love mixing serious oil paintings with decorative and everyday objects, and there are even pieces from local thrift stores. What links them all is the way fruit is represented, from the deeply symbolic to the simply decorative or even abstract. A selection of our videos are screened in this show, including one shot with teenagers in Salt Lake City. Several key walls in the exhibition are covered with our new wallpaper. It contains apple blossoms and little budding apples, shot in the spring in Utah and California. It’s an index of the real fruit in the real places it grows – the contrast between the photo-realism of the wall and the crafted quality of the art displayed on top of it creates a dialogue between the “real” and the symbolic.

Among the pieces we love best in the show are the various still lives, especially the number of watermelon pieces we’ve found. There are a great number of fruit trees and Mormon Trees of Life (which bear fruit, but of a more mystical kind, often depicted as points of light, floss, or multi-colored delights). In Utah we were especially captured by the number of fruit bowls or baskets, from wax to stone to beadwork. We like the ones that don’t even try to look like real fruit. We discovered the trove of lucite resin grapes that were part of Mormon Relief Society culture in the 1970s. They’re piled near the end of the exhibition, glowing luminously and unnaturally in the light. They’re an eye-catcher, a kind of bedazzlement that combines plastic with our luminous dreams.

PS, We’d like to thank all the institutions, individuals and families who helped us put this together, and especially Micol Hebron and all of the Salt Lake Art Center. We had a great time!