Christo, artist known for large-scale installations, passed away. He was 84.
STATEMENT ON CHRISTO
May 31, 2020
Artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, known as Christo, passed away of natural causes today, on 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 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.
Photo Wolfgang Volz
Source Christo and Jeanne-Claude Official FB Page
This is the Q + A from Christo's lecture where he presented two works in progress: “Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, Colorado,” which will suspend 5.9 miles of fabric panels over a forty mile stretch of the Arkansas River in Colorado; and “The Mastaba, Project for the United Arab Emirates,” which will consist of 410,000 horizontally stacked, multi-colored oil barrels, forming an oblong trapezoidal monument nearly 150 x 225 x 300 m.
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff (1935–2020) and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon (1935–2009), known as Christo and Jeanne-Claude, were artists noted for their large scale, site-specific environmental installations, often large landmarks and landscape elements wrapped in fabric — including the Reichstag in Berlin, the Pont-Neuf in Paris, Running Fence in California, and The Gates in New York City's Central Park.
Born in Bulgaria and Morocco, respectively, the pair met in Paris in 1958 and married in 1959. Originally working under Christo's name, they later credited their installations to both "Christo and Jeanne-Claude". Until his recent death, Christo continued to plan and execute projects after Jeanne-Claude's death in 2009.
Their work was typically large, visually impressive and controversial, often taking years and sometimes decades of careful preparation — including technical solutions, political negotiation, receiving permits and environmental approvals, organizing hearings and creating support. The pair never accepted grants or public money instead financing the work via the sale of their own artwork.
Christo and Jean Claude, said their projects contained no deeper meaning than their immediate aesthetic impact; their purpose being simply for joy, beauty, and new ways of seeing the familiar.
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