Every year, Maison Ruinart invites an artist to Reims to share their vision of the celebrated Champagne Maison. David Shrigley, known for his sober drawings often paired with absurd yet irrevocable sentences, focused his sharp gaze on Ruinart’s history and savoir-faire. Entitled “Unconventional Bubbles” (Bulles Singulières), his vision comprises 36 drawings and acrylics, as well as three neons, two ceramics and one door, guiding viewers on an informative exploration of how champagne is made. After a presentation onsite last year, the work has been joined by an online iteration, the “Unconventional Gallery”.
David Shrigley explored the vineyards and cellars, noting each detail in order to answer a single question: What is hidden behind the crafting of this exceptional beverage contained in an iconic bottle? His 36 drawings pay tribute to savoir-faire, passing on tradition and respect for nature, while his monumental ceramics symbolically capture the scent of the Crayères chalk cellars where Ruinart champagnes patiently age, and his cheeky neon affirmations evoke the invisible process of fermentation. Visitors interact with the installations, questioning the difference in perception between the placid container and the evocative content.
David Shrigley was fascinated by the crayères, manmade labyrinths that date back centuries. In these chalk cellars – classified as World Heritage sites by UNESCO – he disseminated messages, including sculpted faces in the brittle walls and quirky graffiti documenting his experience more than 30 meters underground, joining messages left over time by anonymous others.
David Shrigley also designed a limited edition work to serve as a backdrop for a jeroboam of Blanc de Blancs, an emblem of Ruinart’s taste. Each of the 30 boxes is numbered and signed by the artist and embellished with a black and white motif, replete with rebellious bubbles and statements characteristic of his work. This is the first time an artist has worked directly on the emblematic Ruinart bottle, the shape of which is inherited from the 18th century. The box also metamorphoses into a champagne bucket for tastings.
Ruinart continues to encourage creative dialogues by inviting two- Michelin-star chef Alexandre Gauthier to join David Shrigley and Frédéric Panaïotis, Ruinart Cellar Master in a further exploration of the artist’s vision through a culinary experience around the theme UNCONVENTIONAL BUBBLES in relation to Ruinart cuvées. Going beyond gastronomy, the trio proposes a stimulating and surprising take on food and champagne pairings.