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Ornellaia Has Successfully Closed the 15th Charity Auction Dedicated to the Vendemmia d’Artista 2020 La Proporzione Project

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Profits from the lots go to the Mind’s Eye project by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation 

New York, NY, September 22, 2023 – Italian wine estate Ornellaia is pleased to announce that the annual charity auction organized by Sotheby’s ended on September 21 with the sale of 12 exclusive lots during the 15th edition of Vendemmia d’Artista.

Double Magnums, Imperials and a sole 9-liter Salmanazar went under the hammer at the auction, accentuated by the artistic labels designed by Joseph Kosuth, who was invited to interpret the vintage’s character, “La Proporzione” (Proportion). All the bottles help to support, as has been the case since 2019, the “Mind’s Eye” project by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, aimed at enabling accessibility to art for the blind and people with low vision. This year, Ornellaia has donated $300,000 to the program.

Giovanni Geddes da Filicaja, CEO of Ornellaia, comments: “We are proud to meet with such success among wine and art enthusiasts. Vendemmia d’Artista has become an essential event for collectors, conveying quality, beauty and solidarity.”

This is the fifth year that Ornellaia has donated the profits from the Vendemmia d’Artista project to the “Mind’s Eye” program, while the Bolgheri-based winery has collected and donated more than 2.5 million euro to a range of international museums since the start of the project.

About Ornellaia 

The name ORNELLAIA conjures up the authentic expression of the beauty of Tuscany. The estate is situated along the Tuscan coast, a short distance from the medieval town of Bolgheri and its iconic cypress-lined approach. Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC Superiore and Ornellaia Bianco are the estate’s top wines, ensued by the second vin Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia, Le Volte dell’Ornellaia and the white Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia. The team’s dedication, in addition to optimal geological characteristics and an exemplary microclimate, has resulted in critical acclaim and public success within Italy and internationally. 

About Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista

The Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista projects celebrates the exclusive character of each new vintage of Ornellaia. Every year, starting with the release of Ornellaia 2006, a contemporary artist crafts a site-specific artwork and a set of limited-edition labels inspired by a word chosen by the technical team to describe the new vintage. A label styled by the artist features on one of the six 750ml bottles in every case of Ornellaia. The project also includes a limited edition of 111 large-format bottles (100 Jéroboams – 3 litres, 10 Imperials – 6 litres and 1 Salmanazar – 9 litres), which are numbered and signed by the artist. Every year, a selection of these bottles is auctioned by Sotheby’s and the profits go to support the Mind’s Eye program by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.

Joseph Kosuth’s art for Vendemmia d’Artista

In 2020, nature and humanity combined to craft a perfect ‘proportion’ of elegance, power and complexity. In order to interpret this correspondence, the leading American conceptual artist and theorist Joseph Kosuth created a set of works based on the word “vino” and a quote from Vitruvius’s De Architectura (31.3). The 750ml bottle features the English version of the phrase engraved on the paper. For the 100 double magnums, the etymology of the word “vino” is embossed on the bottle, while each of the unique 10 Imperials sees the etymology engraved onto the glass. One branch is accentuated in white and the quote from Vitruvius is translated in the highlighted language or one of its modern descendants: Albanian, Serbo-Croatian, Latin, Italian, Hindi, Hebrew, Modern Greek, Irish, German and Armenian. For the Salmanazar, the etymology and quote from Vitruvius below are in English and the highlighting applied to the bottle is in platinum.

The quote from Vitruvius taken from De Architectura (3.1.3) engraved in various languages on the various formats of Vendemmia d’Artista Ornellaia 2020 is: “La proporzione non è altro che la possibilità di commisurare, secondo un modulo fisso, le singole parti di un’opera e l’insieme nel suo complesso; da questo nasce il calcolo simmetrico” (Vitruvium, Migotto, 1990). 

About the Mind’s Eye Program

The Mind’s Eye program, created and established by Guggenheim’s Education Department, provides a sensory-based approach to art for the blind and low-vision persons. With the support of all the museum’s departments, the Mind’s Eye program includes verbal descriptions of artworks, sensory objects, creation of artworks, participatory activities and conversations to encourage impressions, emotional connections and memories, whose perception lasts over time. As in art, the appreciation of fine wines requires the involvement of all the senses. Sharing this idea caused Ornellaia to support the development of this particular programme. The donations collected through “Ornellaia Vendemmia d’Artista” enable the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to develop the Mind’s Eye program activities further, with the aim of rolling out the model to other art galleries all over the world. Through digitalization and the Mind’s Eye Sensory Guide, which recreate the visual experience of art by using a specific interactive language, the programme has succeeded in reaching an ever-increasing international audience. The Guggenheim distinguishes itself by a commitment to the blind and low-vision community through the Mind’s Eye program. The generous donations made by Ornellaia have enabled the programme to be extended to the constellation of Guggenheim museums in Venice and Bilbao, conferring international prestige.

About Joseph Kosuth

Joseph Kosuth (born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1945) trained at the Cleveland Institute of Art (1963-64), the School of Visual Art in New York (1965-67) and the New School for Social Research (1971-72). He taught at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg (1988-90) and the Staatliche Akademie der bildenden Künste in Stuttgart (1991-99). At the Museum of Visual Art, a gallery that he founded in New York in 1967, Kosuth presented his first conceptual artworks, for which he is regarded as a leading figure and theoretician. Kosuth’s art has been displayed at some of the most important contemporary art shows and is on show in major museums. His work has always explored the production and role of language and meaning within art. By challenging conventions and definitions, he has focused his research into language with a complex approach in which philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis and art criticism all interact.

About Sotheby’s and Wine

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. The auction house is now supported by an industry-leading technology program and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 70 categories, including contemporary art and wine & spirits. Annual wine and spirits sales for Sotheby’s Wine reached the record figure of 132 million dollars in 2021, up by 44% compared to 2020.

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