Kapoor, the latest artist to get the Mouton treatment

The British-Indian artist Anish Kapoor is to become the latest in a long and illustrious line of artists commissioned to produce labels for Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Kapoor’s design will grace the label of the 2009 vintage. Previous artists to receive a Mouton commission include Dali, Picasso, Chagall, Bacon, Warhol and Balthus.

The practice started with Philippe Jullian’s “V” for victory label following the end of the Second World War. Since then, artists have chiefly concerned themselves with the subject matter of plant life and growth, vines and the leaping ram, the symbol of the Mouton Rothschild estate. The artist is not paid for his commission but is rather rewarded with a case of “his” particular vintage.

The choice of artist has proved increasingly important in recent years, such was the case with the 2008 vintage, the label being produced by the Chinese artist Xu Lei. The hype surrounding the selection of a Chinese artist drove up prices in a shrewd move said to have been inspired by Lafite’s “lucky 8” Chinese character label from the same year.

Kapoor was born in 1954 in Bombay and is a well known figure within the contemporary art world as well as having a relatively high profile with the general public having won the Turner Prize is 1991. His abstract design is described in a press release as being “At once austere and flamboyant, the gouache he has created for Mouton Rothschild 2009 expresses the fertile thrust of plant life, the result of an intense encounter between matter and light.”


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