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.
This year, Ruinart has chosen Brazilian artist Vik Muniz, an all-around artist who uses many different types of media (photography, sculpture, video and everyday materials) to create works that explore our relationship to reality and collective memory. Muniz is particularly well known for his reinterpretations of art history classics, such as his very personal take on Van Gogh's “Starry Night,” or Caravaggio's “Young Sick Bacchus,” reproduced as collages with industrial or organic materials, such as coins, diamonds, chocolate or tree branches... Following his stay at the Reims estate, which occurred simultaneously with the 2018 harvest, the artist delivered a series of works inspired by world of Ruinart and by its vineyard, in particular. He relied on the foundations of the earth and vineyard to bring to life his creative vision of the House.
Created inside one of the UNESCO-listed underground chalk cellars of the Ruinart estate in Reims, this work is a larger-than-life, ampelographic representation of Chardonnay, composed of the leaves, vines and branches of this variety, collected in the vineyards of Sillery.
Produced from a collection of blackened pieces of wood and charcoal, this work illustrates the vines, as photographed by Vik Muniz in the Sillery vineyard on the Mountain of Reims. The image consists of two parts forming a diptych.
These two independent pieces offer a reinterpretation of the vines, expressed through blackened wood and charcoal. It was a long and meticulous work to create, one which interlaces mineral and organic materials.
Made up of 6 parts, this work serves primarily as an ode to the power of nature and its creative flow, expressed here through six vines of blackened wood and charcoal. A work that is both complex and larger-than-life.
A moving work that shows the hands of Frédéric Panaïotis, cellar master of the estate, gripping a vine. The tension of his veins blends in with the knots of the wood, making it difficult to define the border between human and nature. This composition was photographed by Vik Muniz and reproduced from blackened wood and charcoal.
Discover the timeline of this unique collaboration and learn more about the artists who have helped write the history of the prestigious Champagne House, Ruinart.
Le bouquet de Champagne
Portraits de Famille
HERVÉ VAN DER STRAETEN
PIET HEIN EEK
Le Grand Livre
HUBERT LE GALL
Le Calendrier de Verre
La Trace Invisible du Travail de l'Homme