CHRISTO VLADIMIROV JAVACHEFF and JEANNE-CLAUDE were a married couple
who created environmental works of art.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were
born on the same day, June 13, 1935; Christo in Gabrovo,
Their works include the wrapping of the Reichstag in
Credit was given to "Christo" only, until 1994, when the outdoor works and large indoor installations were retroactively credited to "Christo and Jeanne-Claude." They flew in separate planes: in case one crashed, the other could continue their work.
Jeanne-Claude died, aged 74, on November 18, 2009, from complications of a brain aneurysm .
Although their work is visually impressive and often controversial as a result of its scale, the artists have repeatedly denied that their projects contain any deeper meaning than their immediate aesthetic impact. The purpose of their art, they contend, is simply to create works of art for joy and beauty and to create new ways of seeing familiar landscapes . Art critic David Bourdon has described Christo's wrappings as a "revelation through concealment." To his critics Christo replies, "I am an artist, and I have to have courage ... Do you know that I don't have any artworks that exist? They all go away when they're finished. Only the preparatory drawings, and collages are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain."
* 1 Personal life
* 1.1 Christo * 1.2 Jeanne-Claude * 1.3 Marriage
* 2 Major works
* 2.1 Oil Barrels
* 2.3 Wrapped Coast
* 2.4 Valley Curtain
* 2.6 Wrapped Walk Ways
* 2.7 Surrounded
* 3 Future works
* 3.1 Over The River
* 4 Public collections * 5 Honors and awards * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links
Christo. Photo by Erling Mandelmann , ca. 1972-1987.
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Christo (Bulgarian : Христо Владимиров Явашев)
was born in
Christo studied art at the
Christo quickly settled in
Jeanne-Claude was born in
World War II
She was described as "extroverted" and with natural organizational abilities. Her hair was dyed red, a color she claimed was selected by her husband and she smoked cigarettes, and tried to quit many times until her weight would balloon. She did not enjoy cooking. She took responsibility for overseeing work crews and for raising funds. She said she became an artist out of love for Christo (if he'd been a dentist, she said she'd have become a dentist).
Jeanne-Claude died in
New York City
Former Mayor of
New York City
When she died, she and Christo were at work on Over the River, a set
of fabric panels over the
Arkansas River in
The Gates from The Met
Christo and Jeanne-Claude met in October 1958, when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of her mother, Précilda de Guillebon. Initially, Christo was attracted to Jeanne-Claude's half-sister, Joyce. Jeanne-Claude was engaged to Philippe Planchon. Shortly before her wedding, Jeanne-Claude became pregnant by Christo. Although she married Planchon, Jeanne-Claude left him immediately after their honeymoon. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's son, Cyril, was born 11 May 1960. Jeanne-Claude's parents were displeased with the relationship, particularly because of Christo's refugee status, and temporarily estranged themselves from their daughter.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude covered barrels at the port of
In February 1964,
Christo and Jeanne-Claude arrived in New York City
. After a brief return to
Pont Neuf wrapped up
On all their projects since 1972 they worked exclusively with photographer Wolfgang Volz . At least five of their major projects were subjects of documentary films by Albert and David Maysles . Although, Jeanne-Claude and Christo worked as creative equals on all of their art projects, only Christo’s name appeared on the finished products. This was a conscious decision by both Jeanne-Claude and Christo because of the prejudices against female artists in the art world. Jeanne-Claude said, “‘The decision to use only the name Christo was made deliberately when we were young because it was difficult for one artist to be established and we wanted to put all the chances on our side.’” Therefore, Jeanne-Claude took on the role as Christo’s manager in order to advance their success. The pair did not reveal Jeanne-Claude as the second half in the creative process until 1994.
Jeanne-Claude was a firm believer in the aesthetic beauty of works of
art; she said, “‘We want to create works of art of joy and beauty,
which we will build because we believe it will be beautiful.’”
However, that does not mean that Jeanne-Claude and Christo’s
artworks were without larger political connotations. Jeanne-Claude and
Christo created a piece in response to the building of the Berlin
Wall, in 1962. They blocked off the Rue Visconti in
Christo and Jeanne-Claude had the chance to participate at
Documenta 4 in
At the end of 1969 Jeanne-Claude and Christo wrapped the coast of
Little Bay , in
100 workers and 11 volunteers devoted 17,000 work hours to the project. Christo wrapped two and a half kilometres of coast and cliffs up to 26 metres high. The project required 95,600 m2 of synthetic fabric and 56 km of rope and was the largest single artwork ever made at this time. The artwork was larger than Mount Rushmore, and visitors took an hour to walk from one end of the work to the other. After initial resistance from the authorities and the public, reactions were largely positive, and had an enormous impact on art in Australia .
Valley Curtain 1972 (USA)
At the end of 1970
Christo and Jeanne-Claude began their preparations
for the Valley Curtain project. A 400-meter-long cloth was to be
stretched across Rifle Gap, a valley in the
Main article: Running Fence
In 1972, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began preparations for Running Fence : a fabric fence, supported by steel posts and steel cables, running through the landscape and leading into the sea. The fence was to be 5.5 meters high and 40 kilometers long and constructed in Sonoma and Marin Counties, California. For the project, 59 families of ranchers needed to be convinced and the permission of the authorities had to be obtained, so Christo and Jeanne-Claude hired nine lawyers. At the end of 1973, Christo and Jeanne-Claude marked the path of the fence with wooden stakes. On 29 April 1976, the work finally began after a long struggle against bureaucracy. Approximately 200,000 m2 of nylon fabric, 2050 steel posts and 145 km of steel cable were needed. On 10 September 1976 the work was completed. However, Christo and Jeanne-Claude had to pay a $60,000 fine, because they lacked permission for the coastal region.
WRAPPED WALK WAYS
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were mostly paying bank loans and
trying to save money. In addition, however, they continued to plan
their future projects, like wrapping the Reichstag in
With "Wrapped Walk Ways"
Christo and Jeanne-Claude covered 4.5 km of
Loose Park , a park in
Kansas City, Missouri
SURROUNDED MIAMI ISLANDS
Würth Rioja, wrapped chairs
Christo and Jeanne-Claude planned a project based on Jeanne-Claude's idea to surround eleven islands in Miami's Biscayne Bay with 603,850 m2 of pink polypropylene floating fabric. It was completed on May 7, 1983, with the aid of 430 workers and could be admired for two weeks.
On May 7, 1983, the installation of Surrounded Islands was completed.
Biscayne Bay , between the city of
For 2 weeks Surrounded Islands, spreading over 11.3 kilometers (7.0
mi), was seen, approached, and enjoyed by the public, from the
causeways, the land, the water, and the air. The luminous pink color
of the shiny fabric was in harmony with the tropical vegetation of the
uninhabited, verdant islands, the light of the
Since April 1981, attorneys Joseph Z. Fleming and Joseph W. Landers,
marine biologist Anitra Thorhaug, ornithologists Oscar Owre and Meri
Cummings, mammal biologist Daniel Odell, marine engineer John Michel,
4 consulting engineers, and builder-contractor Ted Dougherty of A the
Dade County Commission; the Department of Environmental Regulation;
the City of
From November 1982 until April 1983, 6,500,000 square feet (600,000 m2) of woven polypropylene fabric were sewn at the rented Hialeah factory, into 79 different patterns to follow the contours of the 11 islands. A flotation strip was sewn in each seam. At the Opa Locka Blimp Hangar , the sewn sections were accordion-folded to ease their unfurling on the water.
The outer edge of the floating fabric was attached to a 30.5 centimeter (12 inch) diameter octagonal boom, in sections, of the same color as the fabric. The boom was connected to the radial anchor lines, which extended from the anchors at the island to the 610 specially made anchors, spaced at 15.3 meter (50 ft) intervals, 76 meters (250 ft) beyond the perimeter of each island, driven into the limestone at the bottom of the Bay. Earth anchors were driven into the land, near the foot of the trees, to secure the inland edge of the fabric, covering the surface of the beach and disappearing under the vegetation .
The floating rafts of fabric and booms, varying from 3.7 to 6.7 meters (12 to 22 feet) in width and from 122 to 183 meters (400 to 600 feet) in length were towed through the Bay to each island. There were 11 islands, but on two occasions two islands were surrounded together as one configuration.
As with Christo and Jeanne-Claude's previous art projects, Surrounded Islands was entirely financed by the artists through the sale by C.V.J. Corporation (Jeanne-Claude Christo-Javacheff, President) of the preparatory pastel and charcoal drawings, collages, lithographs, and early works.
On May 4, 1983, out of a total work force of 430, the unfurling crew began to blossom the pink fabric. Surrounded Islands was tended day and night by 120 monitors in inflatable boats.
Surrounded Islands was a work of art which underlined the various
elements and ways in which the people of
On 14 March 1984, Jeanne-Claude became a U.S. citizen; she held dual
French citizenship . In August the couple received permission
to wrap the
Pont-Neuf , (which had been completed in July 1607), after
nine years of negotiations with the mayor of Paris,
Jacques Chirac ,
and preparations for the project began. For the wrapping of the nicest
bridge in Paris, 40,000 m2 of sand-colored polyamide fabric was
needed. The golden sandstone color is used to imitate the color of
THE UMBRELLAS, JAPAN–USA, 1984–91
Christo and Jeanne-Claude prepared for their next project, "The
Umbrellas." The plan was to have yellow umbrellas set up in California
and blue umbrellas in
After the project "The Umbrellas"
Christo and Jeanne-Claude concerned
themselves again with wrapping the Reichstag in
Just under 100,000 m2 of fireproof polypropylene fabric, covered by an aluminum layer, and 15 km of rope were needed. The wrapping began on 17 June 1995 and was finished on 24 June. The spectacle was seen by five million visitors before the unveiling began on 7 July.
* * * * * * * * *
Pencil signature of Christo from 1987
VERHüLLTE BäUME (WRAPPED TREES)
After 32 years,
Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped 178 trees in
Beyeler Foundation north-east of
WRAPPED SNOOPY HOUSE
In 1978, Charles M. Schulz drew an episode of his comic strip Peanuts in which Snoopy 's doghouse is wrapped in fabric by Christo. In response, Christo constructed a wrapped doghouse and presented it to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in 2003.
On 3 January 2005, work began on the installation of the couple's
most protracted project,
The Gates , in
"The Gates" was open to the public from 12 February until 27 February 2005. A total of 7,503 gates made of saffron color fabric were placed on paths in Central Park. They were five meters high and had a combined length of 37 km. Bloomberg, a fan of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, presented them with the "Doris C. Freedman Award for Public Art" for the work of art. Christo and Jeanne-Claude often expressed satisfaction that their concept for their home town of over 30 years was finally realized.
The cost of the project was $21 million US dollars which was raised entirely by Christo and Jeanne-Claude selling studies, drawings, collages , works from the 1950s and 1960s. They do not accept any sponsorship, nor did the city of New York have to provide any money for the project. Christo and Jeanne-Claude donated all the money raised from the sale of souvenirs such as postcards, T-shirts and posters to "Nurture New York's Nature, Inc." While the engineering, manufacturing and set-up took over a year, about 750 paid employees erected the project in five days and then deployed the fabric of all the gates in half an hour. Around 600 more ("Gate-keepers") distributed 1 million free samples of the fabric to visitors. The uniformed Gate-keepers also provided information to visitors about the project, and were responsible for unrolling the gates that had rolled over their crossbars in the high wind. More workers uninstalled the project in one week, leaving almost no trace and shipping all the materials for recycling.
BIG AIR PACKAGE
Christo filled the Gasometer Oberhausen from 16 March until 30 December 2013 with the installation Big Air Package. After “The Wall“ (1999) as the finale installation of the Emscher Park International Building Exhibition, Big Air Package was his second work of art in the Gasometer. The “Big Air Package – Project for Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany“ was conceived by Christo in 2010 (for the first time without his wife Jeanne-Claude). The sculpture was set up in the interior of the industrial monument and was made of 20,350 square metres of translucent fabric and 4,500 metres of rope. In the inflated state, the envelope, with a weight of 5.3 tons, reached a height of more than 90 metres, a diameter of 50 metres and a volume of 177,000 cubic metres. The monumental work of art was, temporarily, the largest self-supporting sculpture in the world. In the accessible interior of Big Air Package, the artist generated a unique experience of space, proportions and light. The Floating Piers
THE FLOATING PIERS
Main article: The Floating Piers
The Floating Piers were a series of walkways installed at Lake Iseo
OVER THE RIVER
Christo and Jeanne-Claude announced plans for a future project,
titled Over The River, to be constructed on the
Arkansas River between
Reaction among area residents has been intense with supporters hoping for a tourist boom and opponents fearing that the project would ruin the visual appeal of the landscape and inflict damage on the river ecosystem. One local rafting guide compared the project to "hanging pornography in a church." The Bureau of Land Management released a Record of Decision approving the project on November 7, 2011. Work on the project cannot begin, however, until the Bureau of Land Management issues a Notice to Proceed. A lawsuit against the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife was filed on July 22, 2011, by Rags Over the Arkansas River (ROAR), a local group opposed to the project. The lawsuit is still awaiting a court date.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude's inspiration for "Over the River" came in
1985 as they were wrapping the
Pont-Neuf and a fabric panel was being
elevated over the
Christo and Jeanne-Claude have already spent more than $6 million on environmental studies, design engineering, and wind-tunnel testing of fabrics. As with past projects, Over The River would be financed entirely by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, through the sale of Christo’s preparatory drawings, collages, scale models, and early works of the 1950s/1960s. On July 16, 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management released its four-volume Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which reported many potentially serious types of adverse impact but also many proposed "mitigation" options.
In January 2017, after the election of President Trump , Christo cancelled the controversial project in protest of the new administration.
Boca Raton Museum of Art
* Musée d\'art moderne et d\'art contemporain , Nice, France
Cleveland Museum of Art
HONORS AND AWARDS
* (2011) Awarded honorary degrees from
Occidental College .
* (2011) Elected into the
National Academy of Design
* (2008) Awarded honorary degrees from Franklin ">
* "Doris C. Freedman Award for Public Art"
* (1973) Nominated for an
* Visual arts portal
* ^ A B C D E Grimes, William (November 19, 2009). "Jeanne-Claude,
Collaborator With Christo, Dies at 74".
The New York Times