Canadian artist Rodney Graham created wine labels and a book of poems to interpret L’Infinito – The Infinity, for the 2014 Vendemmia d’Artista art project, The sixth in an annual programme of commissions by the Ornellaia winery at Bolghieri on the Tuscan coast in Italy merging art and oenology.
Rodney Graham was invited to reflect on the unique personality of the 2011 vintage for the Ornellaia commission and he embraced the poetic theme of Infinity as well as that of wine as a fountain of inspiration for both the senses and the soul. For the commission Graham created poems printed on the labels, using the traditional printing skills of Italian craftsmen. The 100 Double Magnums bear a poem enclosed in a normal geometric rectangular label, while the 10 Imperials and the single Salmanazar each present a different poem and a different-contoured label, which make each individual bottle an artwork unto itself. Graham also collected the poems into a numbered and signed art-book entitled Short Poems of Merit, to accompany each bottle. The exclusive wine labels for 111 large-format bottles of Ornellaia: 100 3-litre Double Magnums, 10 6-litre Imperials, and 1 one-of-a-kind 9-litre Salmanazar were each individually hand-signed by the artist.
Artists previously commissioned for the Vendemmia d’Artista: Michelangelo Pistoletto – La Celebrazione; Luigi Ontani – Esuberanza; Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh – Harmonia; Rebecca Horn – Energia; Zhang Huan – Equilibrio.
Previous editions have raised €1,000,000 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.
At a charity auction of large-format bottles of Ornellaia 2011 by Rodney Graham in Toronto on 12th June 2014 in Toronto, the auction raised 126,500 Canadian Dollars (€86,000) for the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto)