ARS LONGA by Randy Kennedy for New York Times January 21, 2017
The New York sculptor Pat Lasch has spent her career making work that plays with the distinction between ordinary things and things belonging in museums: realistic-looking ball gowns made from dried acrylic paint; plaster eggs; towering decorative cakes fashioned from wood and paper.
Her fascination with cakes grew out of a notion of them as markers of time’s passage, through birthdays, weddings and other occasions. And cakes have also helped her remember her father, a German-born pastry chef who gave her some life advice when she worked in his bakery as a teenager, piping the icing: “If you make a mistake, put a rose on it.”
Recently Ms. Lasch, 72, discovered a mistake that even the loveliest rose is unlikely to fix: The Museum of Modern Art, which commissioned a 5-foot-2-inch-tall cake sculpture in 1979 as part of its 50th anniversary, appears to have discarded the piece, which Ms. Lasch wanted to borrow for a retrospective of her work opening in March at the Palm Springs Art Museum in California.
Ms. Lasch, a first-generation feminist who started working in the early 1970s, said she contacted the Museum of Modern Art last fall after the curator in Palm Springs, Mara Gladstone, was unable to find records of the cake sculpture in the archives at MoMA. “Mara said, ‘Pat, I don’t know how to tell you this,” Ms. Lasch recalled in a recent interview.
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