Christo, Bulgarian Artist Who Wrapped Landmarks, Dies at 84

02 Juin, 2020, 00:27 | Auteur: Christine Menetries
  • General NewsChristo The Bulgarian Artist Who Wrapped Landmarks Dead at 84 – Variety

"All the journey is the work of art", Christo told Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson in 2016 of the project that was public for just 16 days before it was taken down and recycled.

He met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, his wife and life partner in the creation of monumental environmental works of art, in Paris in 1958. Inspired by Russian Constructivism, Christo began appropriating oil drums to make his first wrapped works in the late '50s, and in 1962, he and Jeanne-Claude blocked a small Parisian street with oil barrels, an "iron curtain" to protest the Berlin Wall for which they were nearly arrested. Christo died of natural causes at his home in New York City yesterday.

Two of Christo's planned projects did not come to fruition before he died: Over the River, which would have involved draping translucent fabric above 42 miles of Colorado's Arkansas River, and The Mastaba, which was conceived in 1977 for Abu Dhabi and would have been the largest sculpture in the world with 410,000 multi-colored barrels forming a "mosaic of bright sparkling colors echoing Islamic architecture". His death was announced Sunday, May 31, 2020, on Twitter and the artist's web page.

Christo's temporary artwork L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is scheduled to be on display from September 18 to October 3, 2021, in Paris, as per his wishes, the statement said. A retrospective of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work is also scheduled to open in July at the Centres George Pompidou.

"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".

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Christo, the Bulgarian-born artist, best known for his monumental installations that wrapped some of the world's most celebrated buildings and played with people's perceptions of landscape and the outdoors, died on Sunday at his home in NY.

Along with his wife Jeanne-Claude, Christo not only made use of megalithic structures that predated their works - they made a point of choosing structures with extraordinary meaning to build their narratives upon. "I will live with that tragedy to the end of my life", Christo said at the time. "The fabric is very sensual and inviting; it's like a skin".

"I like to be absolutely free, to be totally irrational with no justification for what I like to do", Christo said. The pair self-financed their art through the sale of Christo's preparatory studies and early works from the '50s and '60s, and they refused grants, sponsorships, or volunteer labor in order to maintain creative freedom. Logistics, bureaucracy, and questions of legality proved central to their ephemeral spectacles, the result of years, often decades, spent talking with community members, lobbying politicians, selling renderings (they were their own dealers), and eventually coordinating with onsite assistants.

ELLEN BAUDER: I don't particularly consider it an art project.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always made clear that their artworks in progress be continued after their deaths.

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