Fabienne Verdier / The motion of matter - Exhibition at Château Lynch-Bages Until 31 October 2023
The paintings presented here for the first time are from Marielle Saradar’s collection, in collaboration with the Galerie Lelong & Co.
Fabienne Verdier employs a creative process that is rooted in the hybridisation of different forms of knowledge and becomes manifest in technical inventions (enormous brushes, special varnishes).
The artist has abandoned the easel and imagined a method of vertical painting, guided by gravity. In 2006, she designed her own monumental brushes and began painting on the ground. She works regularly with musicians (Juilliard School of New York), writers and scientists.
Fabienne Verdier has developed a very personal form of expression echoing the gestural brushstrokes of the great abstract expressionist painters, while always observing and listening to the rhythms of the surrounding world. Her method is similar to that employed by Jackson Pollock, but on a different scale. And there is a telluric force at work here, rather than the spidery dripping characteristic of the American artist. The gesture does not of course come from nowhere, but neither does it mimic any pre-existing form. It is inspired by the natural forces that surround us, lightning in the sky, currents in a river, the vein of a rock, the twist of a branch, the burst of a bud, an entire living or static world. These charge the spirit and the body of the painter, move her and run through her until she expels, like a volcano with its lava, the energies bubbling inside her.
Her exhibition at Château Lynch-Bages, featuring 18 paintings in the estate’s historic vat room and the new cellars designed by architect Chien Chung Pei, offers visitors a truly immersive experience of the artist’s world.
Fabienne Verdier was born in 1962 in Paris. She studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse. Since then, her artistic career has been marked by encounters with the thought structures of different periods and cultures.
After obtaining her degree, she travelled to China, where she studied painting, aesthetics and philosophy at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute from 1983 to 1992 alongside great masters. An experience recounted in her book Passagère du Silence [Passenger of Silence]. She then immersed herself for several years in the works of abstract expressionist painters to create a series of paintings for the Fondation H. Looser in Zurich.
She exhibits regularly in Europe and Asia and her works can be found in numerous collections, including the MNAM Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), the Pinault Collection (Paris, France, and Venice, Italy), the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Munich), the Fondation Hubert Looser and the Kunsthaus in Zurich.
In 2019, the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence held a retrospective on her work, retracing the artist’s entire career from her return from China to her most recent creations in the Bibémus quarries, facing the Sainte-Victoire Mountain. The French postal service chose one of her paintings from among a series of 12 works in the same year to appear on a postage stamp. In 2022, the Musée Unterlinden (Colmar, France) organised a major exhibition entitled Le chant des étoiles [The Song of Stars], which brings together works by the artist in a dialogue with older masterpieces, including the Issenheim Altarpiece. It has been extended on account of its success.
LYNCH-BAGES BUYS HAUT-BATAILLEY
Pauillac fifth growth Château Lynch-Bages has acquired fellow Pauillac fifth, Châtau Haut-Batailley for an undisclosed sum.
Lynch-Bages, owned by the Cazes family, has bought the entirety of the estate spanning 40 hectares (including 22ha of vineyard) and the technical facilities from the Brest-Borie family, which has owned Haut-Batailley (pictured) since the 1930s.
Jean-Charles Cazes, general manager of Lynch-Bages, said: “Château Haut-Batailley is a magnificent property that has always produced great wines. We’re particularly happy that it has passed between two families who have friendly relations and know each other well.
“This acquisition will strengthen our presence in Pauillac with the aim of undertaking a project distinct from Lynch-Bages. In order to respect the estate’s identity and the integrity of its vineyard, the property will be managed independently and have its own dedicated team of technical experts.”
François-Xavier Borie, added: “We are delighted that Château Haut-Batailley has been accepted into the fold of the Cazes family, who are committed to continuing the work undertaken at the estate. We’re confident that they will maintain the identity and character of the property.”
The acquisition is a substantial investment by the Cazes family, which, just last year, announced it was renovating the cellars at Lynch-Bages in a two-year project that will be overseen by Chinese-American architect Chien Chung Pei.
Furthermore, it is a comparatively rare event for a classed growth in Bordeaux to change hands, especially in a commune like Pauillac, which has some of the most expensive land prices in Bordeaux (€2 million per hectare according to 2015 figures from the Société d’aménagement foncier et d’établissement rural (SAFER)).
The news comes soon after the announcement that St-Estèphe second growth, Cos d’Estournel, had bought neighbouring property Château Pomys from the Arnaud family.
Pomys used to be the home of Cos’ founder, Louis Gaspard d’Estournel. Current owner, Michel Reybier, told the drinks business that the acquisition was: “Part of a broader vision to preserve Cos d’Estournel’s heritage, the acquisition of Château Pomys is a reference to the estate’s history. It aims to recreate the architectural ensemble originally conceived by the founder.
“By bringing together its two fundamental elements, the estate is restored to its original composition: Cos d’Estournel remains a palace dedicated to winemaking and Pomys has once again become the inviting home of its founder.”
As well as 12 hectares of vineyard, Pomys has a hotel and restaurant with 10 bedrooms. Whether this will continue however is not known as Reybier already owns several luxury hotels in Paris and Geneva, as well as having a guesthouse at Cos d’Estournel itself.
TECHNOLOGY FOR THE VINEYRAD
Château Lynch-Bages began carrying out a survey with the Telespazio company, a branch of the Thalès group, using aerial detection. Objective: to achieve an ever more fine-tuned vineyard management.
Based on cartography created through images taken from the sky by drones and microlights, the aim of this survey is to acquire more in-depth knowledge of the vineyard, and to adapt vineyard practices (notably geo-localised fertilisation and canopy management) as well as selective harvests.
Nicolas Labenne, technical director of Château Lynch-Bages says:
« The concept proposed by Telespazio, EarthLab & Millésime, enables us to obtain an extremely precise analysis of the crops in the vineyard. This technology should allow us an even deeper understanding of our 50 types of soil. For us, it’s also a matter of carrying out a general assessment in a bid to optimise our renewal policy. »