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.