Art of the Treasure Hunt serves up a perfect pairing of art and wine

Twenty-five pieces of Let one hundred flowers bloom, 2008, by Not Vital
Twenty-five pieces of Let one hundred flowers bloom, 2008, by Not Vital, at Castello di Brolio.
(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

You might know how to match your wine to your food – but how about to your art? Intertwined with Chianti’s breathtaking rolling vineyards this summer are contemporary artworks to complement the history and scenery of the region, its prestigious wineries and villas, and of course, the multi-sensory experience of its colours and flavours.

Under the Tuscan sun until 30 October, visitors can see new and recent artworks by world renowned names – including Marina Abramović, Oscar Tuazon, Kiki Smith and Jannis Kounellis – enjoyed with the scent of surrounding grapes, while imbibing some of them too.

Eternity IV, 2017, by Janine von Thüngen, at Villa Geggiano

Eternity IV, 2017, by Janine von Thüngen, at Villa Geggiano. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

Nature and its elements are a consistent theme and inspiration in this year’s works, connecting the landscapes of each of the chosen locations for this sprawling group exhibition to the process of wine-making and the ever complex relationship between man and the earth. At the spectacular Villa di Geggiano, close to Siena – home to the Bianchi Bandinelli family since 1527 – you’ll find Swedish naturalist Henrik Håkansson’s stuffed starlings in the chapel.

Over at Castello di Brolio, Italy’s oldest winery, Not Vital has installed 25 of his 100 steel Lotus Flowers on the terrace. Meanwhile, Colle Bereto – famed for its Chianti Classico – hosts an outdoor water sculpture by Kiki Smith in the charming hamlet of Radda, as well as ethereal ‘seaweed’ drapes by Brazilian artist Vivian Caccuri.

Textile works by Polish artists Alicja Bielawska and Agnieszka Brzeżańska (also on view at Villa di Geggiano) allude to the fruits of the region’s fertile terrain: Bielawska’s coloured cloths, studies on light, billow in the breeze outdoors, while hanging in the ballroom, Brzeżańska’s Water Spirits paintings suggest the transient flow of time.

Art of the Treasure Hunt – this year on its second run – is the brainchild of Kasia Redzisz, a senior curator at Tate Liverpool; Olivier Widmaier Picasso, grandson of Pablo; and arts patron Luziah Hennessy of LMVH. Hennessy says that the idea behind the hunt dates back to the 18th century, when ‘it was the tradition for wealthy families to send youths on a cultural tour of Europe as a “rite of passage”.’

Hard Pressed Wire, 2009, by Gabriel Kuri, at Felsina. 

Hard Pressed Wire, 2009, by Gabriel Kuri, at Felsina. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Galery Franco Noero)

Traviata, 2016, by Robert Wilson, at San Felice.

Traviata, 2016, by Robert Wilson, at San Felice. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

Untitled Swarm (Sturnus vulgaris) #3, 2011, by Henrik Håkansson, at Villa di Geggiano.

Untitled Swarm (Sturnus vulgaris) #3, 2011, by Henrik Håkansson, at Villa di Geggiano. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist)

Dià, 2016, by Michele Spanghero, at Felsina.

Dià, 2016, by Michele Spanghero, at Felsina. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of the artist )

Haux haux, 2016/2017, by Cabelo, at Borgo San Felice.

Haux haux, 2016/2017, by Cabelo, at Borgo San Felice. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Gallery A Gentil Carioca)

Ouro Flexível, 2005/2016, by Laura Lima

Ouro Flexível, 2005/2016, by Laura Lima, at Villa di Geggiano

(Image credit: Laura Lima)

Villa Geggiano

Konstelacja poranna (III) / Morning Constela on (III), 2017, by Alicja Bielawska, at Villa Geggiano. 

(Image credit: Courtesy of Kasia Michalski Gallery)

he man who measures the clouds, by Jan Fabre, at Colle Bereto.

The man who measures the clouds, by Jan Fabre, at Colle Bereto. Private collection

(Image credit: Jan Fabre)

INFORMATION

Art of the Treasure Hunt runs until 30 October. For more information, visit the website (opens in new tab)

Charlotte Jansen is a journalist and the author of two books on photography, Girl on Girl (2017) and Photography Now (2021). She is commissioning editor at Elephant magazine and has written on contemporary art and culture for The Guardian, the Financial Times, ELLE, the British Journal of Photography, Frieze and Artsy. Jansen is also presenter of Dior Talks podcast series, The Female Gaze.