William Kentridge is the protagonist of the 10th edition of Ornellaia's project Vendemmia d'Artista
The South African artist created special-edition labels that will adorn a limited number of large-size bottles of Ornellaia. Sotheby’s will preside over an auction of 9 rare lots during a gala evening at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, which will receive the proceeds.
To date, Ornellaia Vendemmia d'Artista has donated almost 2 million euros to art foundations & museums across the globe.
South African artist William Kentridge has been invited to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Vendemmia d’Artista project and to interpret the character of Ornellaia 2015 “Il Carisma” (Charisma). Kentridge is internationally acclaimed for his drawings, films, sculptures, animations and performances, which he uses to transmute sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. The artist created a site-specific masterpiece for the Estate, customised a limited series of 111 large-format bottles, and designed a special label, an example of which will be found in each case containing six 750ml bottles of Ornellaia.
The drawings on the labels are done on pages from various old Italian cash books found in flea markets and second-hand shops in the Tuscan area. The images on the Ornellaia labels are essentially about the work of making wine, and mainly of the vendemmia, the grape harvest,” recalls the artist.
“The secateurs come from a memory of the one occasion I took part in a Tuscan vendemmia, when with my family I spent six months in San Casciano outside Florence. This made me understand the human labour involved in making the wine; though what I remember most strongly is the pleasure of the lunch prepared in the vineyards by the local farmer’s wife. A depth of flavour made by the combination of work and terroir. The aspects of wine-making that combine both manual craft and mechanical processes suggested the transformation of people into machines and machines into workers. This is part of an ongoing series of drawings and other work about human labour. The drawings are done on pages from various old Italian cash books found in flea markets and second-hand shops in the Tuscan area.”
On 23 May, Ornellaia will hold a benefit auction featuring 9 lots, which will include the special bottles created by William Kentridge for Ornellaia 2015 'Il Carisma' - Vendemmia d’Artista. Mr Stephen Mould, Sotheby’s Senior Director - Head of European Wine Department, will preside at a gala dinner and auction that will raise funds to be donated in their entirety to the event's host, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, directed by Mr Tristram Hunt.
“Today, as the Vendemmia d’Artista marks its 10th year, it continues to attract funds for the restoration of artworks belonging to our universal heritage. In just first nine editions we have succeeded in donating almost two million euros across the globe, just a small drop perhaps, but there is much more to come”.
Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO Ornellaia
“The V&A is thrilled to host Ornellaia, Sotheby’s, and the renowned artist William Kentridge, as they present the 10th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista. We are honoured that Ornellaia have chosen the V&A for this spectacular event and we are hugely grateful for its generous support.”
Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, Victoria & Albert Museum
"Sotheby’s Wine is proud to participate in our tenth collaboration with Ornellaia’s superb Vendemmia d’Artista art program. We have enjoyed incredibly special events in New York (2010 & 2017), Hong Kong (2012), London (2013), Toronto (2014), Basel (2015) and Los Angeles (2016), each of which was wholly unique and exciting, in the same way that every vintage has its own distinct character. The evening combines great wines and great works of art, culminating in a live benefit auction, where we will raise funds for the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). These unique large-format bottles will find homes in new cellars and will always remind their new owners of the joys of bringing wine, food, art and friendship together. This is a time for fun, celebration and generosity".
Jamie Ritchie, Sotheby's, Worldwide Head Sotheby's Wine
William Kentridge in his studio working on the art works for Ornellaia 2015 'Il Carisma'
Ph. Thys Dullaart Courtesy Ornellaia