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Celebrated British Artist Damien Hirst Show at Château la Coste

From March 2 through June 23, 2024, Damien Hirst is exhibiting some of his best-known works at Château La Coste, the sprawling 500-acre vineyard and art centre near Aix. In fact, he will be the first artist to take over the entire Château La Coste estate in this exhibition called The Light That Shines.

According to the vineyard and art centre’s founder, Paddy McKillen, an Irish hotelier and property developer, planning has been taking place for years. “Amid laughs and giggles, chats and cups of tea, great ideas evolved as they do when Damien is his playful self,” said McKillen. Please continue reading here for the original Aixcentric article.

Damien Hirst and The Ascension

Damien Hirst and The Ascension – Photos by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS/Artimage 2023

Damien Hirst, the Artist

From humble beginnings to a celebrated artist and art collector, Damien Hirst (né Brennan) never met his father and had a challenging relationship with his mother. However, his mother encouraged his drawing despite many clashes over his rebellious actions, such as shoplifting. Hirst attended Jacob Kramer College at Leeds Arts University and then studied fine arts at Goldsmiths College in London under Sir Michael Craig-Martin. While at Goldsmiths College, he was instrumental in organizing a student art exhibition at London’s Docklands – Freeze. Attendees included Charles Saatchi of the successful advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi, who collected Hirst’s works until the early 2000s. Today, Hirst is believed to be one of the wealthiest living artists. Read more about Damien Hirst here.

About Château la Coste

Château La Coste is set in a beautiful hilly landscape with a blend of world-class architecture and works of art. The vineyard is a short 20-minute drive from the centre of Aix-en-Provence, and with many activities, it’s a great place to visit any time of the year. In 2002, Irish businessman Patrick (Paddy) McKillen bought the existing La Coste winery near the village of Le Puy Ste Réparade to indulge his two passions: wine-making and creating a centre for contemporary art. Over twenty years later, the vineyard includes permanent installations by famous artists, temporary exhibitions, awe-inspiring architecture and plenty of food and wine options.

The Art and Architecture walk climbs the slope to the Tadao Ando Chapel. La Chapelle is at the highest point of the vineyard, so the view of the vines with the Luberon massif in the background is well worth the walk. The walk takes approximately 2-3 hours at a moderate pace, and there are guided tours. Booking in advance is advisable.

Artists and Architects at the vineyard include:

Tadao Ando (Art Centre and La Chapelle)
Louise Bourgeois (Crouching Spider)
Alexander Calder
Bob Dylan’s Rail Car
Frank Gehry (music pavillion)
Liam Gillick
Andy Goldsworthy
Jean Nouvel – developed the site masterplan
Renzo Piano
Sean Scully
Ai Weiwei (Ruyi Path)
Jean-Michel Wilmotte
and more!

Dining at the Vineyard

The Tadao Ando Cafe, located inside the art centre, is at the heart of the action. Its contemporary design fits well within the setting. They offer indoor and outdoor dining options for lunch and dinner with a la carte menu.

Francis Mallmann is the famed Argentinian who loves to grill anything and everything. His menu is designed to keep you warm.

La Terrasse – casual outdoor dining on a shaded patio serving a small menu of fresh, seasonal salads and light bites.

Inside Villa la Coste, Hélène Darroze serves up gourmet food at Le Louison, a Michelin *star restaurant.

It is also located inside the hotel, Salon for a more casual setting with “bistronomic” food, a tasty fusion of gastronomic and bistro. The restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner.

Vanina Restaurant is the newest restaurant on the Château la Coste property. Open in the evenings and on Saturdays and Sundays at lunchtime. The menu is Italian, with wood-fired pizzas and antipasto.

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Lynne Alderson

Lynne Alderson

Aixcentric was set up by Lynne Alderson three years ago as a channel to send out info on events taking place around Aix as well as news, relevant books, the latest films, new shops and of course where to eat locally. Why?

According, to Lynne:

"It came about out of frustration with the lack of communication in the town. Posters would suddenly go up about an event that week. No prewarning. I had difficulty too in finding information from many of the tourist offices. Things are slowly getting better and there is sometimes information in English. Hopefully by keeping an eagle eye on the local press and talking with contacts in town, I can publicize fun things that people would otherwise miss. It's a ragbag of info that I come across on my travels. I've published nearly 600 posts now and have lots of followers so hopefully, it is fulfilling its role of helping people, residents and visitors alike, get the most of their time in Aix."

For what is going on in Aix-en-Provence, Lynne has you covered at Aixcentric

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