Christo, Famous For His Monumental Works Of Art, Dies At 84

Christo, Famous For His Monumental Works Of Art, Dies At 84

The Floating Piers, was another temporary work which allowed visitors to northern Italy's, Lake Iseo, to walk on water.

With his longtime collaborator and wife, Jeanne-Claude, Christo garnered both global acclaim and outrage for their installations, which-through such monumental feats as wrapping the Berlin Reichstag in blue fabric and installing thousands of saffron "gates" in New York's Central Park-challenged conventions of environmental art and artmaking itself.

The husband and wife duo was famous for creating large-scale, temporary environmental art projects since 1961.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude at The Gates, February 2005.

During their decades-long partnership, the couple wrapped the Pont Neuf in Paris, Kunsthalle in Berlin, Roman Wall and Kunsthalle in Bern in fabric.

Their $26 million US Umbrellas project erected 1,340 blue umbrellas installed in Japan and 1,760 blue umbrellas in Southern California in 1991.

The massive, custom-made yellow umbrellas were erected along an 18-mile stretch of the Tejon Pass, about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's final project hasn't been finished - L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, is still on track for fall 2021.

Next year's work in Paris will be accompanied by an exhibition at the city's Pompidou Centre about their time in the city.

"Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it", his office said in a statement posted to their Facebook page.

His artworks "brought people together" around the world, the statement says. It was in Paris in 1958 where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who would become his partner in life and art.

Born in Bulgaria in 1935, Christo studied in Sofia and defected to the west in 1957, stowing away on a train from Prague to Vienna.

Christo was already wrapping smaller found objects, such as cars and furniture. Together, they have a son, Cyril, born in 1960.

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

But in their subsequent collaborations, he was credited more as the artist and Jeanne-Claude as the organiser. The decision, they said, was theirs and deliberate since it was hard enough for even one artist to make a name for himself.

For many of those who attended the Christo retrospective back in October 2018, Surrounded Islands was scarcely more than memory that their parents had imposed upon them or a vision that they'd seen framed in waiting rooms around the city for years. They eventually bought that building and would call the city home for the rest of their lives. Christo, known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects, has died.

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.

- and he missed all of that very much.

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