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Domaine Pommery's “Gigantesque!” Exhibition

Fabrice Bousteau plays with the spatial proportions in the champagne house's historic facility

by David Graver
on 19 October 2016

There will be no grapes present on the vines from now until spring, but that's no reason to forego a trip to Reims, France—the heart of the historic Champagne-Ardenne region. Champagne Pommery, on the grounds of their stunning facility, have debuted Experience Pommery #13: the next installment of their annual, on-site contemporary art exhibition. Organized by Paul-Francois and Nathalie Vranken (owners of the Pommery brand) and curated by Fabrice Bousteau (editorial director of Beaux Arts magazine), the mind-bending presentation, known as "Gigantesque!” (or "Gigantic!" in English) incorporates larger-than-life sculpture, painting and light art into the traditional architecture and grounds. Some of the pieces make reference to champagne or celebration, but more importantly, they deliver an epic spin on proportion—one that people of all ages can enjoy.

The exhibition features the work of 23 international artists, including a large percentage of French creators. A goal was to showcase creative extravagance and the boldness of artist's ideas, concepts and research. Simultaneously, the show seeks to address the minuscule details that can define modern art. This is achieved through the show's layout and installation—everywhere from the lawn to the 18 kilometers of cellars, 30 meters deep into the ground. Works from Choi Jeong invite out-of-the-ordinary color to the facility. While Lilian Bourgeat created a dining table for giants. Pablo Valbuena and Ivan Navarro shed light in unexpected ways. Playfulness permeates the show.

While surprise and delight offer surface-value captivation, genuine substance runs through the exhibition also. And many works prompt the viewer to question their positions and perceptions of society, rules and processes. But, as a brand that recently launched Royal Blue Sky (a celebratory demi sec to be served with ice if one chooses) the main takeaway is of the balance of modernity and respect for history. Plus, who wouldn't want to see an art exhibition while surrounded by champagne?

Experience Pommery #13, "Gigantesque–Gigantic” is on now through 31 May, 2017.

Images courtesy of Champagne Pommery

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