FAMILY TIES: Artist David Hockney can turn his expert hands to most anything — the spring hawthorn blossom in Yorkshire, Sixties California cityscapes, scenes from the Old Testament — and, of late, a Rothschild wine label.
Marking the anniversary of Baroness Philippine de Rothschild’s death, and the launch of a vintage wine from the same year — 2014 — the Rothschild family invited Hockney to design a new wine label for Château Mouton Rothschild bottles.
According to Philippe de Rothschild, co-owner of the family wine estate, Hockney was at the top of the list, given his close relationship with the baroness. The two met 30 years ago, when they performed in a play for a small New York-based theater company together and kept in touch until the baroness’ death.
The artist channeled his optimism and humor his illustration for the bottle label, a drawing that shows two wine glasses, one empty, the other full, against a bright blue background.
“I loved the illustration because it was joyful and my mother was somebody very joyful. The first thing that came to my mind was the representation of joy and that’s her, so I immediately thought we should go forward with it,” said de Rothschild.
Hockney has been having quite a year: Last month the Tate Modern opened its doors to a major retrospective of his wide-ranging work including drawings, photography, film and video. Two more exhibitions are planned, at Paris’ Centre Pompidou and at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York later this year.
“There’s 60 years of work in the show and I think there’s a continuity to my work, an attitude to time and space. Time is elastic and I play with that idea. When you’re painting it’s now and I like to live in the now, that’s all there is really,” said the artist, adding that he was “quite impressed” by the Tate exhibition, which opened at the beginning of February and will run until May.
Known for experimenting with different media, Hockney also redesigned the logo of the British tabloid The Sun for a one-off edition published earlier in February. It featured a childlike drawing of a sun over the paper’s red and white logo.
The 2014 Château Mouton Rothschild wine is stocked at U.S.-based retailers including Hart Davis Hart, K&L Wine Merchants and Zachys.