AAJ Press
Art Projects, Commissions, Glass, Sculpture

Michelangelo Pistoletto – Vendemmia d’Artista – La Celebrazione – Ornellaia 2010

Ornellaia_2010_Salmanazar _La_Celebrazione_by_Michelangelo Pistoletto

Michelangelo Pistoletto was commissioned, to interpret the theme of La Celebrazione for Vendemmia d’Artista Ornellaia 2010. The Ornellaia 2010 vintage celebrates both the 25th anniversary of the wine estate in Bolgheri, Italy and the fifth edition of its Vendemmia d’Artista project. This involves a commission to decorate the bottles for each vintage, and also to create a permanent sculpture or installation for the winery. The artist has created labels for a limited and individually signed and numbered series of bottles: 100 Double Magnums (3 litre), 10 Imperials (6 litre) and a unique Salmanzar bottle (9 litre). A limited and numbered edition of  bottles will be auctioned by Sotheby’s during a charity event in London on 16th May 2013, with the proceeds donated to the Royal Opera House Foundation in London.

“A correlation exists between the cultures of wine and art, between Venus and Bacchus. Neither of them has a practical function, but both are undoubtedly  powerful in activating the human spirit. Many artists have found in wine a source of inspiration; it propels the mind towards imagination, fantasy, and towards truth too—in vino is truly veritas. The mirror, in particular, expresses truth and stimulates the imagination. I decided to utilise the mirror for the Ornellaia project, creating its profile through curving, sensuous lines that transgress the traditional square shape of a wine label. I wanted this artwork to be fluid, flexible, dynamic, just like the flowing movement of a thought.”  Michelangelo Pistoletto

michelangelo pistoletto ornellaia 2010 3Michelangelo Pistoletto’s creation encapsulates the fundamental theme of his art: the mirror. The spiral that entwines itself around the Double Magnum bottle; the sculpted, three-dimensional spiral on the one-of-a-kind Salmanazar; and the varying forms of the Imperial bottle labels are all made of a special reflective material that is intimately connected with the motifs that the artist has been developing since the early 1960s. On the 3- and 9-litre bottles, the spiral creates a sense of infinity, with the artist ultimately conveying a spiritual expression. The 6-litre bottle labels are unique and represent a different composition of a 10-piece puzzle, each one with a different missing element. For the artist, the mirror, with its infinite forms, reflects both the spectator and the surrounding environment, introducing into the artwork a temporal dimension.

pistoletto double magnum ornellaia 2010Ornellaia_2010_Imperial_La_Celebrazione_by_Michelangelo PistolettoArtists previously commissioned for the Vendemmia d’Artista: Luigi Ontani – Esuberanza; Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh – Harmonia;  Rebecca Horn – Energia; Zhang Huan – Equilibrio. Previous editions have raised €800,000 to benefit the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan, the Whitney Museum in NY, the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, and the H2 Foundation for Arts and Education, Luo Zhongli Scholarship in Hong Kong.

In London on May 16th, 2013 Ornellaia will host a charity auction gala dinner at the Royal Opera House where eight of the bottles created by Michelangelo Pistoletto for Vendemmia d’Artista ‘La Celebrazione’ will be auctioned. Stephen Mould, Senior Director and Head of the European Wine Department of Sotheby’s, will conduct the charity auction to include the unique Salmanazar (9 litres), three Imperials (6 litres), and four Double Magnums (3 litres).

Michelangelo Pistoletto, born in Biella in 1933, is acclaimed for his cultural and social performances, sculptures and installations as a protagonist of the Arte Povera movement. He is renowned, in particular, for his mirror paintings which include the presence of the viewer and self portrait in the work to question the dimensions of time and space, representation and reality. He founded the Cittadellarte-Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella and the University of Ideas. 
A project that aims to put art at the centre of our intellectual discourse, with the goal of pursuing a comprehensive transformation of civil society.

The Art Curators for the Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project are Bartolomeo Pietromarchi and Maria Alicata.


Unique Salmanazar bottle (9 litre). Ornellaia 2010 Vendemmia d’Artista – La Celebrazione. is a three-dimensional spiral sculpture. The bottle is signed by the artist.

Michelangelo Pistoletto. Ornellaia 2010 Vendemmia d’Artista – La Celebrazione

1 Double Magnum bottle (3 litre) Ornellaia 2010 Vendemmia d’Artista – La Celebrazione. The spiral label entwines around the bottle, which is numbered and signed by the artist. no. 4/100

1 Imperial bottle (6 litre) Ornellaia 2010 Vendemmia d’Artista – La Celebrazione.
A 10 piece puzzle with a missing element. The bottle is signed by the artist. no. 3/10





About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space

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