Ruinart and Artist Eva Jospin Launch a Fantastical Cardboard Installation During Frieze New York
Kicking off on May 18, an immersive gallery and champagne lounge will pop up at 500 West 22nd Street, inviting guests to experience the rich beauty of the Champagne region
Next week, some of the world’s best and boldest art will be on view in New York for Frieze Week. One of the must-see highlights is the immersive cardboard landscape that has been meticulously crafted by the buzzworthy French artist Eva Jospin in collaboration with prestigious champagne house Ruinart.
The latest artist commissioned by the house for its annual Carte Blanche series, Eva Jospin has created PROMENADE(S), an installation that captures the rich beauty of the natural landscape in the Champagne region and the terroir of Maison Ruinart, which is the oldest Champagne house in the world. The work is a brilliant celebration of nature and the winemaking gestures that have been passed down over generations.
Situated in the heart of Chelsea, just steps from the iconic High Line, 500 West 22nd Street will be transformed into what is now called “Maison 1729: From Reims to the High Line.” The space will open to the public for the first time the weekend of the Frieze Art Fair in New York and will run through the end of June.
Since 1729, Ruinart has been producing the world’s finest Champagne with a deep respect for nature. Jospin’s installation pays homage to that special legacy and celebrates the unique know-how of the producers. Crafted mostly out of cardboard, the artist’s preferred material, the work comprises a series of high reliefs, drawings, and embroideries articulated around a Carmontelle, which is an a 18th-century invention alluding to the Age of Enlightenment, the period in which Maison Ruinart was founded. This frieze gradually unveils a story without words. The intricate filigree evokes the links between the underground worlds of the chalk pits and vineyards, between nature and architecture, and the common gestures revealed in both the artist’s work and in champagne making.
“The history, geography, culture and know-how constitutes a terroir, and this is what inspired me"Eva Jospin
“Together, the history, geography, culture and know-how constitute a terroir, and this is what inspired me,” says Eva Jospin of her ambitious project. “My Carte Blanche takes the form of a journey through a sculptural setting that pays tribute to this landscape.”
Visitors will find depicted in the work the coronation of French kings in Reims Cathedral and the ennoblement of the Ruinart family under Charles X as well as the underground Crayères, the inspiring chalk cellars that have been there for thousands of years and are used to preserve the Ruinart cuvées. Also revealed within the very humble material of cardboard are interlacing vines and nods to Ruinart’s biodiversity program.
Jospin works in a similar fashion to the master cellars, who are a passionate experts that extract and shape the aromas from the grape giving life to a wine faithful to their vision. For both makers, time is a precious ally and infinite skill is required. In her workshop, Jospin masterfully utilizes a scalpel to carve the decorative layers of her art—it’s a process that echoes the meticulous nature of winemaking where dimension is revealed through the repetition of gestures that are precise and exact.
“The verticality of the Champagne landscape—from the underground cellars and chalk pits to the hillsides where the vines flourish—make it so unique. This specificity was recognized with the awarding of World Heritage status,” says Frederic Dufour, president and CEO of Ruinart. “Eva’s Ruinart project highlights these interlacing layers.”
Ruinart of course is no stranger to artist collaborations, often tapping world famous talents to create new work, which is then presented at art fairs around the world. The house relies on the power of art and artists not only to enrich our knowledge about the world’s ecosystems but also to make a profound emotional impact.
Champagne is also a key part of the project. And Jospin has created a limited edition collection based on the Blanc de Blancs Jeroboam, the Maison’s emblematic curve. She has transformed the wooden box containing the bottle—enclosed by custom-made leather straps— to reveal a miniature chalk decor sculpted in layers of cardboard. It is limited to just 25 signed and numbered pieces and will be presented at Frieze New York 2023.
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