Yayoi Kusama’s collaboration with Veuve Clicquot hits an optimistic note
Called on to interpret Veuve Clicquot’s premium cuvée, La Grande Dame, the Japanese artist creates a limited-edition sculpture with flowers, polka dots and a message of hope
Yayoi Kusama is partnering with Veuve Clicquot to reinterpret its premium cuvée, La Grande Dame, in one of the most ambitious collaborations between an artist and a champagne house of late.
Billed as a celebration of ‘vital energy, love and celebration of life’, the partnership comprises an editioned floral sculpture titled My Heart that Blooms in the Darkness of the Night, and a similarly themed bottle and case, intended for a broader audience. Both will be available from September in Japan, US and France, and in the UK, where its launch will be marked with a special presentation at Selfridges Corner Shop in London.
The sculpture is intended to coil around a magnum of Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 2012, a new vintage disgorged only last September. Depicting five flowers, each exuberantly polka dotted in psychedelic hues, it recalls the ‘Flowers that Bloom at Midnight’ series that the artist first presented in 2009. Like the original larger pieces, My Heart that Blooms in the Darkness of the Night is painted individually by hand, each piece bearing more than 1,000 precisely-placed dots. The mesmerising blooms, along with foliage and stems in a vibrant palette of green, blue and yellow, are made of resin and copper, and UV-coated with lacquer for an alluring sheen.
The same flower motif appears on the more widely available 75cl champagne case, set against a polka dot background in the brand’s distinctive yellow and black. A similar pattern appears on the bottle label and collarette, subtle interventions that are nonetheless instantly recognisable as Kusama’s work.
Kusama and Veuve Clicquot previously collaborated in 2006, when the artist overlaid an original portrait of the champagne house’s founder, Nicole Barbe Ponsardin (known as Madame Clicquot) with red polka dots for an charity auction in Tokyo. Then as now, their special affinity is born out by the resemblance between polka dots and champagne bubbles.
In addition to highlighting the parallel ambitions of Kusama and Madame Clicquot, respectively one of the foremost artists of our time and one of the few women entrepreneurs of the early 19th century, Kusama’s new creations also convey a message of hope and optimism. The title of the sculpture, My Heart that Blooms in the Darkness of Night, echoes a statement ‘to the whole world’ that the famously reclusive artist released in April, in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic. ‘In the midst of this historic menace, a brief burst of light points to the future, let us joyfully sing this song of a splendid future,’ she wrote. With its themes of rebirth and transformation, Kusama’s new artwork is not only instantly covetable, but also a pitch-perfect way to round off a challenging year. §
My Heart That Blooms in The Darkness of The Night, price on request (limited to 100 pieces, incorporating La Grande Dame 2012 1.5L magnum) is available at London’s Selfridges Corner Shop from 9-22 November; veuveclicquot.com