Each year Ruinart asks a contemporary artist to propose an artistic take for a limited edition of its champagne. This year’s Carte Blanche artist, Eva Jospin, has reappropriated the Ruinart universe with an immersive installation entitled PROMENADE(S) en Champagne, evoking both the wealth of the Champagne region’s terroir and the precision of the skilled gestures passed on through generations to craft the Maison’s exceptional champagne.
Artist Eva Jospin celebrates the geographic diversity of Maison Ruinart and its history. Interlaced vines, the majestic underground chalk quarries transformed into wine cellars, echoes of the royal past when kings were crowned in the Reims cathedral, and a future built on preserving biodiversity all served as inspiration for her carrousel of works. The French sculptor and Ruinart share a commitment to artisanal craftsmanship and embracing the power of time. The centerpiece of her Carte Blanche is a Carmontelle, a roll of paper with pastoral scenes offering a graphic narrative of visible and invisible elements that go into creating champagne. The captivating object has a history dating back to the 18th century, when Maison Ruinart was founded. Setting the theme for the Carte Blanche installation, the Carmontelle evokes the different places Eva Jospin visited, from the Ruinart chalk cellars and vineyards to the neighboring forest. Juxtaposing multiple strata, subterranean and aerial landscapes from roots to sky, her sculpture reprises the interlaced motif, evoking the shoots of the vines. Choosing cardboard as her medium for these miniature sculptural creations, Eva Jospin elevates the lowly material with her painstaking gestures, just as the cellar master coaxes the qualities of the grape into exquisite champagne. Her high-relief cardboard creations also evoke the forest, a recurrent theme in her work, inspired by the forest that borders the Taissy vineyards. Conceived as landscapes, her embroideries combine flax yarn with brass, whose metallic sheen calls to mind the muselet, the wire cage that holds the champagne cork in the bottle. And her Indian ink drawings on marouflage canvas become a cartography of the region.
“The history, geography, culture and amazing savoir-faire of this region define a terroir, and that’s what really inspired me. My proposition for this Carte Blanche takes form in a sculptural décor that celebrates this landscape,” says Eva Jospin.
“The landscape of Champagne is unique in its verticality, encompassing subterranean cellars and quarries and hillsides covered by vineyards. This unique character is what led UNESCO to recognize the terroir as a World Heritage site. Eva Jospin’s artistic creations for Ruinart spotlight these different strata of the Champagne region,” says Frédéric Dufour, President of Maison Ruinart.
Eva Jospin has also created a limited edition piece around a Jeroboam of Ruinart’s signature Blanc de Blancs cuvée. The custom-made wooden box is fastened by leather straps, opening onto a miniature crayère scene sculpted in layers of cardboard. The bottle is nestled in this recessed landscape, a metaphor for making the champagne, and its fermentation sheltered from light. This exceptional Blanc de Blancs cuvée – an assemblage of 25 to 30 meticulously selected Chardonnay vintages – reveals citrus notes with an enveloping, velvety texture. The limited edition counts just 25 signed and numbered pieces.