Bordeaux first growth Château Mouton Rothschild has unveiled the 2020 label created by the British painter of Scottish origin Peter Doig, joining an illustrious lineup of artists including Picaso and Dalí who have illustrated original artworks for its label.
In his work for the label, the painter combines echoes of Cézanne and Van Gogh with a fascinating personal reverie on the nocturnal birth of a great wine, seemingly brought to life by the strange magic of a song played on the guitar.
The painting is a dreamscape. The artist has sought to create a picture that celebrates the growing and harvesting of grapes, showing workers in the vineyard. Peter Doig wished to establish a connection with artists like Millet, van Gogh and Bacon who had depicted vineyard or farm workers. The work also had a personal inspiration in his Trinidadian friend, an artist known as Embah (Emheyo Bhabba) who brought a cuatro – a four string guitar – to one of Doig’s exhibitions in Paris and shared his music and poetry during the course of the evening.
“The painting shows something of what goes on behind the scenes in the production of wine, what happens offstage, as it were. It’s a sort of ode to workers, to all those involved at the various stages of making a wine before it’s finally bottled. It’s a dream with a romantic streak, as if someone spontaneously decided to sing in the vines. It’s a moment of poetry, where you can take your time. It’s neither really day nor really night, but rather something in between, between waking and sleeping. It is possible to see it as a progression, a dream journey in the world of the harvest,” explains Doig.
Born in Edinburgh in 1959, Doig grew up in Trinidad and Canada before moving to London to study at St Martin’s School of Art and Chelsea School of Art. Since 2002, he has lived between London and Trinidad.
Doig has been the subject of several major museum exhibitions worldwide including surveys at Tate Britain in 2008, the National Gallery of Scotland in 2013, Fondation Beyeler 2015 and the Museum of Modern Art Tokyo in 2020. He taught for a number of years, notably at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf, where he held a professorship from 2004 to 2017. Doig also served as a Trustee of the Tate Gallery from 1995 to 2000.
The artist draws on various photographic sources for the composition of his paintings. Relying on materials -playing with textures and with pure and mixed shades, using solarisation and halo effects and shifts in focus – his works resist unambiguous interpretation. The landscapes are flooded in darkness or halos of light and mist, fluttering snowflakes or twinkling stars, labyrinths of branches, reflections in water.
Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild, co-owner of Château Mouton Rothschild, explains: “We wanted an artist who uses canvas and pictorial material to express figurative subjects. Unrivalled as a colourist, Peter Doig focuses entirely on painting and has become one of his generation’s foremost exponents of the discipline, holding exhibitions all over the world. There is something very special about his technique and his universe that sets them apart in contemporary figurative art. His subjects are very varied, his painting resists any classification: he has succeeded in creating his own, inimitable world.”
Since 1945, the label for each vintage of Château Mouton Rothschild has been illustrated by an original artwork. Year after year, they enhance a unique collection of contemporary art by very different artists from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Dalí, César, Miró, Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Soulages, Bacon, Balthus, Tàpies, Jeff Koons, David Hockney, Annette Messager and Olafur Eliasson.
Charity Auction for Bordeaux Firefighters
On the occasion of the reveal of the new label, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, in partnership with Sotheby’s, is holding an exceptional online auction of a unique lot of Château Mouton Rothschild 2020 including the only bottle of Nebuchadnezzar (15L).
All the proceeds from the sale will go to the firefighters of the Bordeaux region, to help provide them with additional fire prevention equipment.
The lot comprises a range of formats, including an exclusive double-magnum, the label of which will be signed by the artist and the family, as well as six single bottles, three magnums, an Imperial and the only Nebuchadnezzar available to date. The Château will also invite the successful bidder and five guests to come and take delivery of the lot in person at the estate. As well as having a private tour, they will be invited to an exclusive lunch with one of the owners of Château Mouton Rothschild.
The auction sale will close at 19.00 (CET) on Friday 2 December.