Christo, Part of Artist Duo Behind Grand-Scaled Wrappings, Remembered

  • May 31, 2020 20:05

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Christo at The Floating Piers, June 2016. Photo: Wolfgang Volz
Christo, The Arc de Triumph (Project for Paris, Place de l'Etoile – Charles de Gaulle) Wrapped Drawing, 2018. 30 1/2 x 26 1/4" (77.5 x 66.7 cm). Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint and tape on brown board. Photo: André Grossmann © 2018 Christo

Artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, known as Christo, passed away of natural causes on Sunday, May 31, 2020, at his home in New York City. He was 84 years old.

Statement from Christo's office: "Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always made clear that their artworks in progress be continued after their deaths. Per Christo’s wishes, 'L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped' in Paris, France, is still on track for September 18 – October 3, 2021."

Christo and Jeanne-Claude looking for a possible site for The Mastaba February 1982 Photo: Wolfgang Volz © 1982 Christo

Christo was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. He left Bulgaria in 1957, first to Prague, Czechoslovakia, and then escaped to Vienna, Austria, then moved to Geneva, Switzerland. In 1958, Christo went to Paris, where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, not only his wife but life partner in the creation of monumental environmental works of art. Jeanne-Claude passed away on November 18, 2009. Christo lived in New York City for 56 years.

From early wrapped objects to monumental outdoor projects, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's artwork transcended the traditional bounds of painting, sculpture and architecture. Some of their work included Wrapped Coast, Little Bay in Sydney, Australia (1968–69), Valley Curtain in Colorado (1970–72), Running Fence in California (1972–76), Surrounded Islands in Miami (1980–83), The Pont Neuf Wrapped in Paris (1975–85), The Umbrellas in Japan and California (1984–91), Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin (1972–95), The Gates in New York's Central Park (1979–2005), The Floating Piers at Italy's Lake Iseo (2014–16), and The London Mastaba on London's Serpentine Lake (2016–18).

Christo's temporary work of art in Paris, France, titled L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l'Étoile), is scheduled for September 18–October 3, 2021. Additionally, a major exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work and time in Paris will be on view this year, from July 1–October 19, 2020.

In a 1958 letter Christo wrote, 'Beauty, science and art will always triumph.' We hold those words closely today.

Read more at New York Times


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