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The Montgomery Endowment
Office of the Provost
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Dartmouth College
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Christo

February 2010Christo

Since first meeting in Paris in 1958, Christo, who was born as Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Bulgaria, and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, who died suddenly on November 18, 2009, have become renowned public art installation artists, whose monumental yet temporary works, involving the wrapping of buildings and islands, the construction of veiled fences, the placement of large screens across open landscapes, and the suspension of fabric curtains over rivers, have been joyfully appreciated by people around the world. In Paris, Christo and Jeanne-Claude blocked off the rue Visconti with oil barrels and veiled the city’s oldest bridge, le Pont Neuf, in a sand-colored fabric. In Sydney, they wrapped the coast of Little Bay in synthetic fabric. In Sonoma and Marin counties they used over two million square feet of white nylon to create a 25-mile “Running Fence” that ended at the Pacific Ocean. In Japan, they dotted the landscape with 1,300 blue umbrellas; in Biscayne Bay they surrounded eleven islands with pink polypropylene; and in Berlin they veiled the Reichstag. In 2005 with the blessing of New York’s mayor they installed 7,500 saffron-yellow gates running for twenty-three miles around the footpaths of Central Park. “We want to create works of art of joy and beauty,” Jeanne-Claude once told an interviewer, “because we believe [they] will be beautiful. The only way to see [this] is to build it.”

Photo above: February 2005  Jeanne-Claude and Christo during the work of art: "The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005" Photo:  Wolfgang Volz, (c) Christo and Jeanne-Claude 2005

Last Updated: 6/24/10