French Champagne Makers Uncork Art in Their Cellar

French Champagne Makers Uncork Art in Their Cellar

Looking at art can be a sobering intellectual exercise, but doing so with a glass of bubbly? Now that sounds more than appealing. In the spirit of the this felicitous pairing, French vinters Domaine Pommery will be hosting its seventh contemporary art exhibition, “Formica,” at their 120-acre estate in Reims to showcase the work of sculptor Jean-Pierre Formica.

Visitors can sip on a glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne and take a tour of the estate’s underground cellars, where the artist’s figurative salt statues have been installed. Formica, who is also known for his abstract paintings, has been sculpting with salt — letting the translucent crystals grow around the armature of say, a skull, or a human body — since 2007. In a previous work, he arranged human salt-sculptures in water, eerily floating like disintegrating mummies alongside salt tree-stumps to evoke the fleeting nature of memory and the human experience.

 

Formica's transmutive works will be an apt presence at Domaine Pommery, where his fragile sculpture will stand inside spaces — formerly Gallo-Roman chalk pits — where barrels of grape juice undergo their metamorphosis into sparkling wine. “Formica” runs through August 26.