When art meets wine, champagne loves it
(Post based on a conversation held at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York City on October 26th, 2022 during a fund-raiser dinner presented by the American Friends of La Cité du Vin).
In 1973, Château Mouton Rothschild paid tribute to Pablo Picasso, who passed away on April 8th of that year, by decorating the Premier Cru Classé with an Atelier Mourlot printed label reproduction of the 1959 master’s painting, Bacchanale. A century before, in 1874, Louise Pommery created the first brut champagne and became famous for patronizing art and artists.
To celebrate the symbiotic relationship between art and wine, which was highlighted in the 2022 Cité du Vin exhibition ‘Picasso, the Effervescence of Shapes,’ the American Friends of the Cité du Vin invited Maïlys Vranken, President of Vranken Pommery America, and Éric Mourlot for an exclusive conversation. “There are serious dinners in New York,” said the co-host of the evening, France’s Cultural counselor in the United States and director of Villa Albertine Gaëtan Bruel, “and there are joyous ones; this one is a mix of both.”
So, while tasting a vertical of Pommery Champagne, including a Blanc de Blancs Apanage and a Cuvée Louise 2005 paired with a dinner prepared by Tastings NYC-SoFlo and Alain Ducasse veteran chef Laetitia Rouabah, Maïlys Vranken and Eric Mourlot told the tales of their artisanal companies’ own relationships with art and artists.
Art Could be Sustainable Luxury, but it Has a Long Way to Go.
Artist Betsabeé Romero honored at LuxuryLab 2022
Exhibition at Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico on view until end of August
(text edited by Delphine Schrank)
As I walked through Cuando el tiempo se rompió (When Time Broke), the latest exhibition by Mexican artist Betsabeé Romero at the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico, I was struck by the juxtaposition of her most recent works. It suddenly made sense. It was all coming together. The artistic interpretation of movement, migrants, and mirrors. The artist was there, it was a Monday in June, and the museum was closed to the public.
I have marveled at Betsabeé’s work so often in the past. The first time was eight years ago, wandering the streets of the Condesa district. Betsabeé had transformed a car into a playful permanent installation, a human-size toy, really, and planted it on the doorsteps of the hotel Condesa DF. To the left of the white and burgundy car, passersby will find a large silver key. Turn it, and the car will suddenly play a rendering of Agustin Lara‘s Veracruz song.
POST-COVID SPRING BEAUTY
The More You Look The More You See
A solo exhibition of new work by Judith Seligson on view at Galerie Mourlot through June 26, 2022.
16 East 79th Street, Suite 21
Between 5th and Madison Avenue
New York City
When I entered Galerie Mourlot on E. 79th Street two days ahead of Judith Seligson’s new solo exhibition, the more I looked around, the more I saw boxes everywhere, each containing either a painting, a pigment print, or a sculpture Seligson, a geometric abstract artist, created during the pandemic. On one wall, John—the installer—was carefully calculating the distance between two frames: on top, a series of photographs of flowers painted over—snapshots of nature blooming and blossoming despite the pandemic, aptly titled “Covid Spring”—and below a selection of bold striped paintings, or intervals paintings, as Seligson described them to me.
In the center of the room, the artist was busy unpacking and deciding how she wanted the body of work to come together at her second solo exhibition of Galerie Mourlot, a name more associated with the print making for the likes of Picasso and Miro, but which also has a strong contemporary art program. Her daughter—journalist and author Hannah Seligson—was dispensing advice. She became her mother’s unofficial “art agent,” or manager, five years ago.
Hannah marveled at the exhibition slowly taking shape, the new series of what she describes as “hard-edged, geometric abstract paintings,” in which her mother, Judith, explores “her interest in the interactions of colors, patterns, and space that all push the boundaries of the pictorial plane and create a sense of spatial tension.” “The Washington Post once decided it was ‘reminiscent of Stella and Albers,’” Hannah explained.
As I found my way to gallery owner Eric Mourlot’s desk by the tall windows overlooking 79th street, to sit down and take my recorder out of my bag, I marveled at the artistic poetry of the pieces. “It is a musical composition, almost a rhythmic movement,” the 72-year-old artist and author who studied with Flora Natapoff, Philip Guston, Leo Manso, and Victor Candell explained to me. Some of the paintings are small, discreet, miniature even, “a feminist statement,” Hanna said, quoting her mother.
I have always been told people are born artists, so I asked Judith Seligson when she first realized she was an artist and no one else. Before she could utter a word, Hannah interjected: “Mom, tell the story of when you were drawing…”
ARE YOU GAME?
French Version of this post, click here.
Special thanks to Delphine Schrank for editing this story
They didn’t just want to give to their favorite foundations. Some New Yorkers wanted to have some fun while doing it, playfully bidding for things both secret or less than significant. In the end, the cost matters less than the price of elegance.
What about you? Would you take the gamble and surprise a gathering of bow tied, long-dressed revelers, the accoutrement of traditional New York galas whose ‘in-person’ season just wound down with the closing year? How much would you be willing to pay to blindly acquire the contents of an evening clutch or a surprise bag – to promote Franco-American friendship?
It all started with a challenge, “un pari” in French. Un jeu, a game.