Each year, Ornellaia, the Italian winemaker, commission an artist to interpret the distinctive character of each individual vintage. The project was launched in 2009, and for the 8th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista, the Japanese artist Yutaka Sone, has been commissioned to interpret the characteristic of Ornellaia 2013 vintage – L’Eleganza.
Yutaka Sone has created special-edition labels for a limited number of large-size bottles of Ornellaia, which will be auctioned at an auction during a gala evening at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, which will receive the proceeds. To date, the Ornellaia project has donated more than 1 million euros to art foundations & museums across the globe, including the Whitney Museum in New York, the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, the Royal Opera House in London, and the H2 Foundation in Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, the AGO in Toronto, and the Beyeler Foundation in Basel.
“When I began this project, and as I have worked with marble all my life, I knew exactly where I needed to go to interpret L’Eleganza of Ornellaia 2013 vintage. I decided to visit the marble quarries of Carrara where Michelangelo used to take the stone for his celebrated sculptures. My two dear friends, Luc Tuymans & Rirkrit Tiravanija, accompanied me on this special journey and together we enjoyed a picnic in this magical place, high in the mountains, surrounded by the pure white marble cliffs facing out to the sea and beyond. For me this place epitomises the sublime elegance of nature and it inspired me as we shared food, great wine, conversation and our close friendship. As you see from the labels I have created, I wanted to interpret the values of sharing, of friendship and the extraordinary uniqueness of this experience”. —Yutaka Sone
Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista project art curators are Bartolomeo Pietrimarchi and Maria Alicata.
Ornellaia grapes are selected by hand, and picked in the estate’s vineyards in Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast. To interpret the unique concept of L’Eleganza, the characteristic selected for Vendemmia 2013, Ornellaia commissioned Japanese artist Yutaka Sone to create an artwork that would be site-specific to the Ornellaia estate and exclusive bottle labels, individually signed, that will dress the 109 large-size bottles of Ornellaia: 100 3-litre double-magnums, 8 6-litre Imperials, and a single 9-litre Salmanazar. In addition, the artist created a special 750-ml bottle of Ornellaia that will be included in every 6-bottle wood box. In Sone’s own words,
Yutaka Sone: Born in 1965 in Shizouka, Japan, Yutaka Sone studied fine art and architecture at the Tokyo Geijutsu University. Now based in Los Angeles, Yutaka is a well-known artist for even those who take even a tangential interest in the world of art. A painter, sculptor and one of the best representations the word “artist” connotes. A man whose passion and rich intensity exudes to the point where it’s not only visible in the detail and philosophy behind his work, but simply from standing next to him.
He has had solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; Aspen Art Museum, Colorado; The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (all 2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2003); and the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Toyota, Japan (2002). The artist representated Japan, along with Motohiko Odani, at the 50° Venice Biennale in 2003.
Work by the artist is held in international museum collections, including The Art Institure of Chicago; High Museum, Atlanta, Georgia; Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Whitney Museum of Americain Art, New York. His recent shows include: The High Line, New York (2015-16), a major commission for Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing, China, and Santa Monica Museum of Art (2013). He lives and works in Los Angeles.
The Hammer Museum at UCLA offers exhibitions and collections that span classic to contemporary art, as well as programs that spark meaningful encounters with art and ideas. Through a wide-ranging, international exhibition program and the biennial, Made in L.A., the Hammer highlights contemporary art since the 1960s, especially the work of emerging and under recognized artists. The exhibitions, permanent collections, and nearly 300 public programs annually—including film screenings, lectures, symposia, readings, music performances, and workshops for families—are all free to the public.
Admission to all exhibitions and programs at the Hammer Museum is free, made possible through the generosity of benefactors Erika J. Glazer and Brenda R. Potter.
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