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Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Written by In the document   
Published: January 24 2010


“Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95” Courtesy of the artist and 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have wrapped the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont-Neuf, with sparkling beige fabric, planted fields of blossoming yellow and blue umbrellas in the hills of California and countryside of Japan, and wrapped the Reichstag (the parliament of the former German Empire) in Berlin with silver fabric. Their projects are often based on unyielding concepts, requiring long periods of time to convince people before advancing to completion. Their project in February 2005, where they erected 7503 saffron-colored gates in New York’s Central Park, is fresh in our memories. This installation, too, was realized only after negotiations that lasted over 20 years. In this exhibition, we will present drawings that show the trajectory of their activities, as well as photographs and documentary videos of their projects, in order to observe the process of bringing colossal projects to reality, and the passion for beauty that lies at their foundations. While Jeanne-Claude sadly passed away on November 18, 2009, Christo continues to this day to proceed with the realization of various projects that they envisioned together. The exhibition will also introduce ongoing projects such as Over The River, project for Arkansas River, the State of Colorado, and The Mastaba, project for the United Arab Emirates. This exhibition stems from the long friendship between Christo and Jeanne-Claude and Issey Miyake, and has been put together through the direction of Masahiko Yanagi, who was involved with Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects for 25 years. Through this exhibition, we will create an opportunity for people to experience their LIFE=WORKS=PROJECTS, replete with surprise and powerful emotion.

We create works of art of joy and beauty.
- Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Christo was born in the town of Gabrovo, Bulgaria, June 13,1935. Jeanne-Claude was born in Casa Blanca, Morocco to French parents on the same date, and passed away on November 18, 2009. After graduating from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Christo studied in Vienna and Geneva before defecting in Paris in 1958. He met Jeanne-Claude in the autumn of the same year, after which they began creating unique works of art together. In 1961 they began temporary, outdoor site-specific art projects like the Dockside Packages at Cologne Harbor in Germany, and the Iron Curtain-Wall of Oil Barrels in Paris the following year. They moved to New York City in 1964. In later projects they often used cloth to transform urban and suburban scenery, as exemplified in The Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72, The Pont-Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85, and The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91, The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005. Ongoing works include The Mastaba Project for the United Arab Emirates, which began in 1977, and Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, which began in 1992. Christo still devotes himself to the completion of these two projects in spite of the sudden death of Jeanne-Claude on November 18, 2009. * The text provided by 21_21 DESIGN SIGHT.

Last Updated on February 13 2010

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