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PUTTING THE “ART” IN RUINART

WHEN RUINART MEETS CONTEMPORARY ART

As the very first of the great Champagne Houses, Ruinart was born in the Age of Enlightenment, an era marked by unparalleled cultural and artistic brilliance. Ruinart has always held on to this avant-garde past. For several years, the estate has chosen to share the story of its modernity and savoir-vivre through the work of contemporary artists. In 1896, Ruinart commissioned talented Czech artist Alphonse Mucha to design an advertisement, marking the first collaboration between the famous Champagne House and an artist.

Since 2008, Ruinart has continued this tradition. Each summer, an artist is invited as part of a residency program to spend the summer at the estate and fully immerse him- or herself in the history and life of the place. The artist is granted “carte blanche” to develop a series of works, inspired by the estate and its vineyards. Past works born from these collaborations include paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, design pieces... No matter what the medium, each work tells a unique story of the prestigious Champagne House, its rich heritage and the unparalleled know-how behind its legendary cuvées.

Each artist presents a unique vision of the Ruinart estate, and communicates this vision through a piece of history. The first to have collaborated in the artist residency program was Maarten Baas in 2008. Then there was Dustin Yellin, whose dreamlike glass fresco recounted the journeys of Edmond Ruinart, and Hubert Le Gall with his calendar of twelve glass sculptures expressing the passing of a single year in the vineyard. Piet Hein Eek also participated in the project through a monumental work, one halfway between sculpture and architecture, featuring the first wooden shipping cases, invented by the Ruinart Champagne House in 1769.

RUINART : THE ART
OF THE VINEYARD…

This year, Ruinart has chosen to collaborate with British artist David Shrigley, best known for his unique drawing style and works that offer satirical messages about everyday situations. His drawings are accompanied by handwritten texts, revealing excerpts from conversations heard by chance, often peppered with a unique, tongue-in-cheek humour. Although drawing is at the core of his work, the artist touches on many mediums, including sculpture, large-scale installations, animation, painting and ceramics. During his time spent at Ruinart, David Shrigley had the chance to meet the estate’s Cellar Master Frédéric Panaïotis and to soak up the unique atmosphere of the chalk cellars, discovering the faces of the individuals who work there and learning how they operate. Following his stay in the Land of Champagne, the artist produced a series of works (drawings, ceramics, sculptures, neon, ...) inspired by his vision of the different stages of wine production at the Ruinart Champagne House.

david-s
This body of work evokes the rich terroir of Champagne. Earthworms are among the invisible, natural vineyard workers who cultivate the terroir. They aerate the soil, allowing the vine roots to obtain the necessary nutrients. David was attracted to this bird, which flies over the vineyard and falls into a state of meditation.
At any Champagne house, the grape harvest is an important moment, and one full of technique. It is run by qualified people only. Those who do not have these skills cannot participate in the harvest. Here David makes fun of the reckless grape picker.
This poetic drawing evokes the art and know-how of the Cellar Master (represented here by the blue bird), who selects only the best grapes to make the wines.
This drawing evokes the art of screening, and the know-how of the Cellar Master. Each bottle looks the same, but they are all unique, too.
When David Shrigley first discovered the underground world of the estate’s chalk cellars, he was fascinated by this man-made labyrinth built over several centuries, a place of wine production and ageing at Maison Ruinart. He sought to sculpt in the chalk walls his vision of the production of Ruinart wines: the forklift used to transport the bottles, the washing machine representing agitation and the faces of the people who have worked there.
David Shrigley expresses his artistic talent through several media: neon, ceramics, ... These installations encourage visitors to question the different ways in which they perceive this powerful content. The artist reveals hidden stories and emotions behind each bottle of champagne. These works were designed by the artist and created by craftsmen based in Brighton.
Discover each new year the artist who joins Ruinart in an artistic collaboration, to tell a new perspective on the history and know-how of the Champagne House.

FORMER
RUINART COLLABORATIONS

2008/2009

MAARTEN BAAS

Le bouquet de Champagne

2010

NACHO CARBONELL

Diversity

2011

GIDEON RUBIN

Portraits de Famille

2012

HERVÉ VAN DER STRAETEN

Miroir

2013

PIET HEIN EEK

L'Arche

2014

GEORGIA RUSSEL

Le Grand Livre

2015

HUBERT LE GALL

Le Calendrier de Verre

2016

ERWIN OLAF

Light

2017

JAUME PLENSA

Dom Ruinart

2018

LIU BOLIN

La Trace Invisible du Travail de l'Homme

2019

VIK MUNIZ

Racines communes