Ruinart Champagne, the world’s first established Champagne House and the Official Champagne Partner of Art Basel and Art Basel in Miami Beach, will celebrate its partnership with the fair by showcasing limited edition champagne boxes and a large-scale installation crafted by the Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek. The works will be on view at Art Basel in Miami Beach taking place December 5-8, 2013.
The elements of Piet Hein Eek’s works consist of the same trademark material he uses in his signature furniture designs: recycled wood. Inspired by Maison Ruinart’s groundbreaking decision to move from using baskets to wooden boxes to ship its Champagne in the late 18th century, Eek crafted individual, wooden storage cases fitted to the unique shape of the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs bottle. Individually signed and numbered, each presentation box is unique and handmade in Eek’s workshop in Geldrop. He selects pine in shades of pale grey, white and cream to reflect the appearance of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. This material is lightly sanded to guarantee softness, covered with a veil of fine lacquer and then hand assembled in the shape of nested, nailed panels.
These boxes will be presented individually alongside a large-scale composition—eight wooden, trapezoidal modules arranged in the form of an arch and filled with Ruinart Blanc de Blancs bottles—that honors the original wooden crate used by Ruinart. A discreet lighting system illuminates the pale golden color of the wine in the bottles. Eek’s creations will be on display in the fair’s Art Collector Lounge, providing visitors the opportunity to enjoy both the artwork and the Blanc de Blancs.
For more than twenty years, Piet Hein Eek has designed contemporary marquetry that explores the authenticity and beauty of wood. After treating his material, Eek assembles and reworks the wood with an awareness of the precision needed to create handcrafted wooden designs. Eek’s intellectual and innovative use of the medium makes for a natural collaboration, linking his design to Ruinart’s historical attachment to this material.
About Piet Hein Eek
Piet Hein Eek (Holland, 1967) is an industrial designer who lives and works in Geldrop, Netherlands. He graduated from the Design Academy in Eindhoven and opened his own design studio in 1992. Eek is best known for his sustainable furniture designs using wood, iron and steel, and also designs accessories and lights. His work has been sold in galleries worldwide and exhibited in several museums including the Groninger Museum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Ruinart Champagne is globally recognized as the discerning champagne choice cultivated since its founding in 1729 by Dom Thierry Ruinart, a learned Benedictine monk, who foresaw the promising future of “the wine with bubbles” and began crafting a limited production of Ruinart with no compromise to quality. The House of Ruinart appreciates that essential ingredients are key to the creation of exceptional Champagnes. Ruinart harvests only the finest Chardonnay grapes with a high concentration of Premiers Crus and houses it in the iconic transparent bottle inspired from the first Champagne bottles of the 18th century. In 1768, Ruinart acquired former Gallo-Roman chalk quarries to store its bottles, which became a World Heritage site in 1931. These crayères offer the triple benefit of a constantly stable temperature, the complete absence of vibration and a perfect humidity level, providing ideal conditions for the fermentation and maturation of the Ruinart wines and the golden thread of the Ruinart taste: pure, round, and elegant. Dom Ruinart’s vision and heritage of excellence has been passed down and continues to be a core value and tradition at the House of Ruinart.