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Pommery’s efforts in the field of contemporary arts reinforce its image, its international reputation, and the brand’s desire to be a leader in innovation. To remain faithful to the memory and the wishes of Madame Pommery, who always wanted Pommery champagne to be based on a solid history and on the cutting edge of innovation, Paul-François Vranken decided to focus our patronage on contemporary art
The Experiences Pommery also highlight the estate’s fantastic winemaking spaces created by Madame Pommery.
In 1882, Madame Pommery commissioned Gustave Navlet to embellish the cellars’ chalk walls with four spectacular bas-relief sculptures. Nearly thirty years ahead of her time, she invented the first form of corporate patronage when she donated her collection of earthenware pieces to the Museum of Fine Arts in Reims and Millet’s painting The Gleaners to the Louvre (it is now displayed in the Musée d’Orsay).
Pommery has developed a system of patronage with museums, including the Pompidou Centre Paris and Metz, Villa Medici in Rome, the Australian Centre For Contemporary Art in Melbourne, the September Spring in Toulouse, The Armony Show in New-York, art museum Mori in Japon. This category also encompasses Pommery’s support for Les visiteurs: Œuvres d’aujourd’hui dans les Monuments Nationaux.
This new concept unique in France gives the public a look at how artists conceive and design their major works. The selected artist presents their sketches and work, and explains how they chose their team, giving the public, for the first time, a look at the creative process for a large work of contemporary art, from the artist’s initial thought process to final creation.
The first person to participate in this concept was French artist Fabrice Hyber with his Phantom Pommery, a character measuring more than three metres high, entirely composed of glass prisms—a strange echo of champagne bottles—with the walls of cellar 17 and the words and images of its history projected through them.
Paul-François Vranken expresses his passion for Art through exhibitions, thereby continuing Louise Pommery’s patronage. This underground world made up of galleries and chalk quarries are the scene for fascinating, shadowy Contemporary Art exhibitions known as Expériences Pommery. The works displayed give a cutting-edge panorama of the international art scene, showing a diversity of cultures, languages, and processes. These exhibitions are an experience to be shared, like champagne, and make Pommery an essential point on the international contemporary arts scene.
Playing with the architecture of this estate, the Gigantesque! exhibition seeks to showcase the excess and extravagance of today’s artists: ideas and research that partake of the colossal, but, at the same time, of the unbelievably tiny, the miniscule. Defying all norms. Out of scale. The gigantesque is the unbridled imagination, the exceeding of all measure.
For the artists, gigantesque is the desire, the new energies, the challenge to create and invent new utopias. Gigantesque, like art and the immensity of the human being.
The Pommery Experience #12 celebrates the Pommery spirit: a freedom of tone and spirit that Madame Pommery established in the mid-19th century and continues to this day. To mark the 140th anniversary of the creation of the Brut champagne, we’ll discover all the basics of today’s champagne, which was invented by this extraordinary woman who combined art with her ambitious project.
Expérience Pommery #11 celebrates the 30th anniversary of FRAC (Fonds Régionaux d’Art Contemporain – Regional Contemporary Art Fund). Curated by Florence Derieux, director of FRAC Champagne Ardenne since 2008, this is an exhibition of 30 masterpieces from one of France’s rarest collections, on display in Pommery’s mysterious cellars and other unusual spaces.
To celebrate the 10th edition of Expériences Pommery, Nathalie Vranken invited Bernard Blistène, Director of Cultural Development at the Pompidou Centre. He conceived of two different experiences with the help of Jean-Marie Gallais: one at Villa Demoiselle and another in Pommery’s breathtaking cellars and chalk quarries. This anniversary edition had no theme in particular, apart from the desire to share a selection of rare, ambitious art with the public.
La Fabrique Sonore, Expérience Pommery #9, featured the work of some thirty international artists, exploring the poetic processes of making sound and turning ordinary objects into musical instruments. With mechanical bands, soundscapes and musical installations, this exhibition oscillated between murmur and rumble, noise and effervescent vibration La Fabrique Sonore was incredibly diverse, with several productions created specifically for the exhibition.
Pommery paid homage to the ‘September Spring’ to mark the 20th anniversary of this Toulouse event sponsored by the champagne house. For Pommery’s 8th large-scale exhibition, Régis Durand selected spectacular installations, archive images, and projections that evoked the festival’s evening events. An essential retrospective and an invitation to new voyages, looking back at 20 years of art.
The 7th Expérience Pommery illustrated the work of Jean-Pierre Formica, staged by Edouard François. The artist set up his laboratory in the mineral world of Pommery’s chalk quarries. His salt sculptures gradually disappeared, eaten away by moisture, and by the end of the exhibition, only the artist’s sketches and videos remained. Here, time and nature played their role.
Artist Bertrand Lavier, the curator of this 6th edition, along with Gérald Karlikow in charge of light and Peter Szendy in charge of sound, exhibited ordinary consumer objects from Western culture. In combination with lighting effects and music, each object evoked a universe of mixed symbols. When taken out of context, these banal objects took on an imaginary aura, inspiring dreams in even the most sceptical visitors.
As part of the official programme of France’s Presidency of the European Union, Fabrice Bousteau took a look at contemporary creation on the Continent. During the 5th Expérience, Pommery and Beaux-Arts Magazine selected works by some fifty young artists chosen by 27 contemporary art magazine editors from every country in the EU, a testament to Europe’s rich, vibrant art scene.
In its 4th edition, Expérience Pommery, under the direction of Daniel Buren, brought together 36 artists from around the world. Each artist was asked to appropriate the setting in an unexpected manner. Rare works took over the estate, its garden, and its deep cellars and galleries. A chair cathedral was exhibited alongside a multicoloured corridor, in perfect harmony.
Judicaël Lavrador invited 34 international artists to take part in an unexpected journey to the heart of Pommery’s cellars. Throughout this space odyssey, the works exhibited played on science fiction imagery, evoking space operas, satellites in orbit, and mutant invaders
The question of idiocy made a splash in the early 20th-century art world with Marcel Duchamp and the Dada movement. A century later, contemporary art has no qualms about going after a scandal, as testified this exhibition curated by Jean-Yves Jouannais, former editor-in-chief of Art Press. This show brought Pommery a royal blue triceratops alongside an overweight Batman figure and a levitating chair.
A concentration of contemporary artistic creation. That was what the 1st group Expérience Pommery promised, as curated by Stéphanie Moisdon. The programme featured around forty major artists, including French artists Xavier Veilhan and Robert Filiou, and works by American artists Keith Haring and Sol LeWitt. For this Expérience, Pommery gave the floor to varied artists like John Armleder, Bertrand Lavier, and Daniel Firman.