L’Esprit du Soleil

Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection | Rutherford, CA | Corten Steel, Laser-Cut, Powder-Coated Aluminum, Etched Mirror, LED Lighting |20W’ x 14’H | 2022


When Gordon Huether was approached by the Managing Director for Auberge, George Goeggel and asked to create a signature art installation for Auberge du Soleil, Huether considered a variety of approaches, looking to the Napa Valley’s abundant sources for inspiration. Huether presented several concepts to Goeggel and the Auberge team, refining each proposal before landing on the final design.

Huether’s final design for L’Esprit du Soleil  begins with an abstracted circular shape imbued with energy through modulation and repetition. The selection of brilliantine material: laser-cut and powder coated aluminum, acrylic and mirror express the spirit and benevolence of the sun that is so ineffable.  Each aluminum sun is finished in a different color and laminated to half-inch thick acrylic, that is applied to an etched mirror base. The suns are set against and framed by Corten steel. Huether chose the Corten for its weathered aspect, qualities which will evolve over time and which mirror the transformations we see in nature every day. The contrast between the unsullied circular disks and the tarnished Corten adds depth and complexity to this work which is illuminated by LEDs for a completed dimension of 20’W x 14’H.

L’Esprit du Soleil is inspired by the sun that rises and sets over Napa Valley’s famous vineyards and olive orchards, and by the nourishing qualities of vitality and beauty that surround guests at Auberge du Soleil.  Installed at the iconic Rutherford, CA resort in June 2022, L’Esprit du Soleil is Gordon’s second artwork for the Auberge Resort Collection.  His first, Infinity at Stanly Ranch in Napa, is a monumental work, installed on a hilltop overlooking the Ranch and Napa Valley.

Huether is thrilled to contribute to the Auberge family and feels that his art practice and process align well with the Resort’s mission.   “I was really excited to work on this project at Auberge du Soleil where the vibe aligns with the earth, the sun and the landscape,” said Huether.  “George always considers the art component of whatever he’s involved in. I was inspired knowing that long-time returning guests and first-time visitors alike will discover the unexpected with this piece where each unique color is meant to display radiant light from the sun.  L’Esprit du Soleil adds another dynamic layer of richness to the property; the piece is going to look different every time you see it with the constant change of light throughout the day, every day, and as the Corten steel acquires a patina, gradually over time.”

L’Esprit du Soleil Mock Up

Project Video