Prior to and during L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, a temporary artwork for Paris, a free photographic exhibition will be on view on the Banks of the Seine, between the Pont-Neuf and Pont-au-Change (near Châtelet). Organized by the City of Paris with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies, “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Realized Projects” will feature over 20 of the most iconic projects realized by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The exhibit, taking place September 3 to October 2, will allow visitors to discover the artists’ works in Paris and across the globe over a 60-year period.
“Since 1961, the artworks of Christo and Jeanne-Claude in public spaces including Paris have transcended the traditional bounds of painting, sculpture and architecture," said Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris. “This Ville de Paris exhibit will be an exciting look into the monumental works of the artists and a wonderful complement to the L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped project this fall.”
The installation of L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l’Étoile-Charles de Gaulle) has been under way since July 15, 2021. The project will be on view from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021. According to Christo's wishes, the project is being put together by his team, in partnership with the Centre des monuments nationaux (CMN) and in coordination with the City of Paris.
The Arc de Triomphe monument will be wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable silvery blue polypropylene fabric and with 3,000 meters of recyclable red polypropylene rope. The project is entirely funded by the Estate of Christo V. Javacheff through the sale of original artworks by Christo, including preparatory studies and collages, models, works from the 1950s and 1960s and lithographs.
“Christo and Jeanne-Claude lived to realize their projects, and The Ville de Paris exhibition reflects the spirit of their public works of art across the world,” said Vladimir Yavachev, Project Director for L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped. “This photographic exhibit and the Bloomberg Connects app give more context to L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped and they provide an inside look into the projects, process, collaboration, and achievements of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.”
A free guide available on smartphones in English and French, via the Bloomberg Connects app, will also help visitors and those around the world, interested in Christo and Jeanne-Claude, to learn more about their work. The Bloomberg Connects app allows users to experience exhibits from more than 40 leading cultural organizations globally. The content is immersive and accessible anywhere. The guide includes sketches, photographs, videos, recordings, text, as well as logistical information about how and where to view L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped and the photographic exhibit. The guide is accessible today on the Bloomberg Connects app and can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store.
“Christo and Jeanne-Claude were a visionary artistic team who had a special ability to transform a space and make it new, while also bringing people together. That’s exactly what they did with The Gates, which helped New Yorkers and millions of visitors experience Central Park in a different way, at a time when our city was still recovering from the 9/11 attacks,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City and Founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. Now, it’s fitting that they will once again provide a source of inspiration during a difficult time. It's exciting that Parisians and visitors to the City of Light will be able to experience this event in person -- and everyone around the world will be able to join in as well, through the Bloomberg Connects app.”
Three additional exhibits devoted to the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude are taking place in Paris this fall. Until October 1, Cahiers d’Art is presenting Christo: Show Cases, Show Windows, and Store Fronts, 1963–1966 (14 rue du Dragon, 6e); and from September 16 to October 7 Christo: Early Works, Unrealized and In Progress Projects (27, avenue Matignon, 8e). From September 17 to October 3, Sotheby’s Paris (76, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 8e) will present The Final Christo, which will provide a window onto the late artist’s extraordinary vision through the 25 original artworks he executed in preparation for the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe. The works will all be available to purchase, with proceeds to benefit both the ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ project, and the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation.
Christo (Christo Vladimirov Javacheff), was born in 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria and died in May 2020 in New York City, USA) and Jeanne-Claude (Jeanne-Claude Marie Denat-de Guillebon) was born in 1935 in Casablanca, Morocco and died in November 2009 in New York City, USA. The artists are internationally known for their monumental temporary artworks.
After studying at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia, Christo fled communist Bulgaria in 1957 and settled in Paris in March 1958, attracted by the city’s aura and its dynamic art scene. Just a few months after his arrival, he met Jeanne-Claude, the adopted daughter of French General Jacques de Guillebon. They began their artistic collaboration in 1961 and settled in New York in 1964.
The seven-year period spent in Paris (1958-1964) is essential for Christo. This intense period of creation appears today as fundamental in his artistic gesture. In 1961, Christo and Jeanne- Claude start to conceive interventions at the city’s scale, from the Iron Curtain project, rue Visconti realized in 1962 to the Pont-Neuf Wrapped, which took ten years to realize from 1975 to 1985.