Cantina Antinori, a winemaking company in the Chianti Classico district, is a symbol of the deep-rooted links that the Antinori have developed with the arts – painting, sculpture, architecture and of course the art of transforming the fruits of the earth into great wines –from as far back as 1385.
For over six hundred years, the Antinori marquisate have linked their family name to excellence in wine and also to the finest traditions of art patronage. These two areas may seem a long way apart, but in actual fact they have often been developed together. The Antinori family has often given art the role of describing the values and history of their House, whose emblem is itself a prestigious piece of art, created in the early 16th century by the Florentine workshop of sculptor and ceramist Giovanni della Robbia. More recently, after the inauguration of the new winery in 2012, an evocative and monumental structure designed by architect Marco Casamonti and set in the heart of the Chianti Classico district, part of the family’s collection of paintings, ceramics, valuable textiles and ancient manuscripts was transferred from the historic Palazzo Antinori in Florence to the new premises at the winery, with consultancy from Giovanna Giusti, curator at the Uffizi. This new location makes it accessible to the visitors who are present every day in the Chianti Classico area, in search of sensorial experiences linked to wine and everything that the area has to offer.
In order to provide a logical framework and a renewed impetus to the family’s projects dedicated to the contemporary visual arts, the Antinori Art Project was launched in 2012, based on the idea of continuing the family’s tradition of art collection, changing its direction towards the art and artists of today. Antinori Art Project is a platform for contemporary events, created in cooperation with important curators, comprising all the activities in this area within a single organizational structure. More specifically, the winery houses the family’s historic collection, with a museum space that is part of the visit to the winery; in addition, a special programme of annual commissions, many of which site-specific, has been launched, for young but already successful artists on the national and international scene.
In the two-year period 2012/2013, these activities were curated by Chiara Parisi and saw the involvement of Yona Friedman, Rosa Barba and Jean-Baptiste Decavèle. In 2014, Ilaria Bonacossa was entrusted with the biennial artistic direction of the project, which featured Tomàs Saraceno who created the work Biosphere 06, cluster of 3 in the vertical space of the winery’s staircase. For 2015, the invited artist is Giorgio Andreotta Calò (born in Venice in 1979, lives and works in Amsterdam).