Château Mouton Rothschild has unveiled the latest iteration of its collection of unique, artist-designed labels.
Contemporary artists such as Salvador Dalí, César Baldaccini, Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol, have been illustrating Château Mouton Rothschild labels since the 1945 vintage. The label of Château Mouton Rothschild’s 2019 vintage was designed by Berlin-based, Icelandic-Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, who works in a range of fields from painting to digital media. Eliasson represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and exhibited at the Palace of Versailles in 2016.
‘I have been fascinated by Olafur Eliasson’s work for many years,’ said Château Mouton Rothschild co-owner Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, who’s responsible for the label.
‘His wonderful exhibition at Versailles in 2016 was a defining moment for me and I said to myself: “One day, if he is willing, Olafur Eliasson will be one of Château Mouton Rothschild’s artists”. His art focuses on the essential and that is what he has managed to capture for Mouton Rothschild: time, the round of the seasons and the sun at the centre of everything, treated here in the form of a diagram.’
The artwork, dubbed Solar Iris of Mouton, is designed to portray the intersection of nature, art, and science. The image is split into two horizontal strips, illustrating daytime in the upper part and the night in the lower part. The strips frame an oculus, which represents the Château. A series of ellipses, pictured in the middle, depict the sun’s cycle around the Château’s vineyards, with the bottom half denoting the shortest day of the year and the top half the longest.
‘Solar Iris of Mouton is a map of all the sunsets and sunrises that take place over a year at Château Mouton Rothschild,’ said Eliasson. ‘Depicting each hour of daylight and night-time that go into the growing of the grapes, it is a kind of signature for the vineyard, telling us something about the conditions in which the wine grew and the intimate relationship between the wine and its location.’
The ellipses’ upper half features a number of ‘analemmas’, whose 8-like shapes symbolise both the combination of earth’s rotation around its own axis and revolution around the sun, as well as the idea of infinity.
‘Tasting the wine connects us to the local environment, to the soil, and to the particular weather, seasons, and lighting of the place,’ continued Eliasson. ‘Visible through the eye-like oculus at the centre of the label, the wine contains the golden sun, the earth, and the sky; it is local and it simultaneously bears a trace of the celestial.’
Alongside the new label, Château Mouton Rothschild released a video that illustrates the building-up of Solar Iris of Mouton, from simple bi-colour design to complete artwork.