Famous for his â€œphoto paintingsâ€ of portraits,Â still-lifes, and landscapes, with their characteristic â€œblurâ€, German artist, Gerhard Richter (pictured, left) is a master of abstract style, a virtuoso who plays with all the possibilities offered by photography.Â Constantly seeking renewal, since 2011 Richter has developed a technique of painting under glass, which he calls Flux, that is both random and carefully controlled. He spreads enamel paint on a plate of plexiglass on which he then presses a glass plate, generating astonishing compositions. When the process reaches completion, he finally fixes the plates one on top of the other. Before that, however, he photographs the still fluctuatingÂ coloursÂ when he considers their composition to be momentarily harmonious. That is how he created the 2015 label of ChÃ¢teau Mouton Rothschild.
Born in 1932, Richter bases his work on the dialectical relationship between painting and photography, representation and abstraction. His work for Mouton is the result of Flux. As a harmonious blend gives a great wine its balance and fullness, so the artist fixes movingÂ coloursÂ in a photograph, taken at the ideal moment of their composition.
ChÃ¢teau Mouton Rothschild LabelsÂ
Every year since 1945, the ChÃ¢teau Mouton Rothschild label has been illustratedÂ with an original artwork by a great contemporary painter.Â In 1924, to salute his first vintage bottled entirely at the chÃ¢teau,Â Baron Philippe de Rothschild (1902-1988), father of Baroness Philippine (1933-2014),Â asked the famous poster designer Jean Carlu to create the Mouton label. Ahead of its time,Â it remained an isolated initiative.Â In 1945, this time to celebrate the return of peace, Baron Philippe decided to crownÂ the label for the vintage with the “V” for Victory, drawn by the young painter Philippe Jullian.
This exceptional circumstance marked the start of a tradition and, every yearÂ since 1946, a different artist has been invited to create an original artwork for the label.Â Initially, Baron Philippe chose painters from amongst his friends, such as Jean Hugo, LÃ©onorÂ FiniÂ and Jean Cocteau. In 1955, Georges Braque agreed to illustrate the vintage; he wasÂ followed by the greatest artists of our time, including Dali, CÃ©sar, MirÃ³, Chagall, Picasso,
Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Balthus, TÃ pies and Jeff Koons, forming a fascinating collection
to which a new work is added each year.
Moutonâ€™s owners, now Camille and Philippe Sereys de Rothschild andÂ Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, have always been responsible for choosing theÂ artists, respecting their artistic freedom, though many of them have been attractedÂ by themes such as the vine, the pleasure of drinking or the ram, the Mouton emblem.
The artists receive no fee for their work but are given cases of Mouton Rothschild, includingÂ of course “their” vintage.
In 1981, on Baroness Philippine’s initiative, the collection gave rise to aÂ travellingÂ exhibition,Â “Mouton Rothschild, Paintings for the Labels”, shown in many museumsÂ around the world. It is now on permanent display at Mouton in the superb space created forÂ it by Baroness Philippine in 2013, between the new vat house and the famousÂ Museum of Wine in Art.