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15:56CONTEMPORARY AT WADDESDON
From 17 April, Waddesdon unveils a major new acquisition by The Rothschild Foundation: Lafite, a pair of monumental sculptures of candlesticks by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos. Each candlestick is 7 metres tall and made of glass wine bottles set on a steel armature and lit from within with fibre-optic strands. The siting on the North Front is particularly appropriate as the bottles originate from Château Lafite Rothschild, one of the two great Rothschild vineyards in Bordeaux, and the west candlestick stands opposite the door to the Wine Cellars in the house.
Joana Vasconcelos (b.1971) lives and works in Lisbon, and has exhibited internationally, most recently in a major solo exhibition at the Château de Versailles and, in 2014, at the Manchester City Art Gallery. Her work is in a number of public and private collections. She aims to re-present and subvert every-day objects, often manipulating notions of scale and form. She is particularly interested in the role of women in contemporary society, and objects associated with them, and also in the relationship between public and private space. In their re-use of objects as ubiquitous as wine bottles, these giant objects merge the legacies of the ready-made, nouveau realism and post-modernism.
At Waddesdon, a house famous for hospitality from its creation to the present day, the candlesticks are a reminder of the pleasures of the table, and the value of domesticity, as well as linking the collections inside the house with the outside world. They also underline the convivial role wine plays throughout the world and the connections of the Rothschild family to the world of wine, not only to Château Lafite Rothschild, but also Château Mouton Rothschild. The acquisition of Lafite heralds a Year of Wine at Waddesdon, with a range of special events.
Lafite join an increasingly significant collection of contemporary sculpture at the Manor, which includes work by Stephen Cox, Xavier Veilhan, Michael Craig-Martin, Richard Long, Angus Fairhurst and Sarah Lucas.
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