2020 New York
The world-famous "environmental artist" Christo studied sculpture and stage design at the Sofia academy of fine arts from 1952 to 1956. After a semester at the Vienna "Kunstakademie", the artist moved to Paris in 1958, where he produced his first packages and wrapped objects.
In 1961 Christo implemented a large-scale project at the occasion of his first solo-exhibition. Stacked oil drums covered with tarpaulin and tied together with ropes at the Cologne harbor ("Stacked Oil Drums"). Then followed the "Rideau de fer" in Paris, an "iron curtain" made of empty, painted oil drums, which Christo used to block a road. In 1963 he produced "Showcases", which one cannot look into because the inside of the glass is covered with foil.
In 1964 in New York, his new home, Christo, together with his wife Jeanne-Claude, developed these "Showcases" into "Store Fronts" which cannot be entered.
The subsequent years he produced numerous environments, including a 5600 cubic meter package, which Christo installed at the "documenta 4". After Christo's "Air Package" and the "Wrapped Tree" in 1966, he wrapped public buildings like the Berne "Kunsthalle" and the Philadelphia "Museum of Contemporary Art" in 1968-69, including the staircase and the hall inside the Philadelphia museum.
Christo's varied installations range from wrapped monuments to pavements and surrounded coastal stretches and entire islands. Since the 1990s Christo has been working together with his wife, using the name "Christo and Jeanne-Claude". In 1994 they received the German parliament's approval for a project to wrap the Reichstag building, which they subsequently realised between June 23 and July 8, 1995.
Since 1992 they had planned their installation "The Gates" in Central Park, New York, which they finally realised in 2005. For Christo and Jeanne-Claude the preparation period of the projects is part of their work. To Christo aesthetic aspects are always more important than the technical possibilities. The couple exclusively finance their projects through donations and the sale of sketches in order to remain independent from sponsors and the public authorities.
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