Gerhard Richter designs Mouton 2015 label

German photorealist artist Gerhard Richter has created the 2015 label for Pauillac first growth Château Mouton Rothschild by painting under plexiglass.

German photorealist painter Gerhard Richter

Called ‘Flux’, the artwork features a marble-like composition of colours dominated by red and green.

Richter achieved the marbling effect by spreading enamel paint on a plate of plexiglass and photographing the fluctuating colours when they were momentarily harmonious.

He finished the composition by pressing a second glass plate on top of the first.

Richter joins a long line of illustrious artists to have created a bespoke label for the first growth, which began commissioning its art series in 1945.

Among the other artists to have created a label for Mouton Rothschild are Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Georges Braque, Juan Miró, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Jeff Koons, Lucian Freud and David Hockney.

Born in 1932, Richter’s paintings are based on the dialectical relationship between painting and photography, representation and abstraction.

After graduating from the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts in 1951, Richter began his career painting murals in the then German Democratic Republic.

He has been living and working in Cologne since 1983 and today is one of the most renowned and respected living artists in the world with works on display at the Tate Modern in London, Pompidou Centre in Paris and MoMA in New York.

Complex and accessible, Richter’s photorealist portraits, landscapes and still-lifes share his signature blur, so that the works always feel out of reach.

The 2015 Mouton gran vin label, designed by Richter

“The photograph is the most perfect picture. It does not change; it is absolute, and therefore autonomous, unconditional, devoid of style,” Richter said.

“I blur things to make everything equally important and equally unimportant. I blur things so that they do not look artistic or craftsmanlike but technological, smooth and perfect. I blur things to make all the parts a closer fit,” he added.

Embracing a variety of techniques, his art follows the example of Picasso in undermining the idea of the artist’s obligation to maintain a single cohesive style.

In February 2015 Richter’s Abstraktes Bild painting sold for £30.4 million at Sotheby’s in London, setting an auction record for a painting by a living artist.

Following the death of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild is now run by her three children: Camille Sereys de Rothschild, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Julien de Beaumarchais de Rothschild.

The Richter label is signed by Mouton president, Philippe Sereys de Rothschild.

The estate spans 84 hectares of vines in Pauillac, 80% of which are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, with the remaining 20% made up of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot .

According to Mouton, the 2015 vintage in Pauillac was warm and dry, leading to small berries and a lower yield than usual.

Lasting for 23 days, the harvest was the longest in Mouton’s history.

Drawing comparisons with the opulent 2005 vintage, the inky 2015 is made from a blend of 82% Cabernet, 16% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc.

According to its makers, the wine has “a refined and elegant nose of wild blackberry and bilberry aromas”, alongside “notes of toast, liquorice and blond tobacco”.

On the palate it is “fresh, full-bodied and slightly saline” with “smooth and creamy tannins that enfold a silky texture lifted by a touch of minerality” and “an exceptionally long finish.”

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