Christo and Jeanne-Claude
(1935/1935 - /2009)
- The Umbrellas (1984-91)
- Wrapped Reichstag (1971-1995)
- The Gates (2005)
Husband and wife team Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on the same date, June 13, 1935. The couple officially began their career together in 1968. Before 1968 their work, whether done in collaboration or not, is attributed to Christo. He settled in Paris in 1958 where he began wrapping things in fabric after briefly earning a living as a portrait painter. Chairs, people, or unidentified objects found themselves wrapped and tied as part of a new kind of abstraction. The progression of Christo's vision became apparent when he started to include trees and sections of the landscape in his collection of obscured forms. Christo's reputation grew, and he was given his first one-man show in Cologne in 1961. Christo's sculpture became so monumental that the majority of his work took place on drawing paper instead of in life, as he began to develop such ambitious projects. These sculptures took decades to plan and install, if they ever even made it from the drawing pad. In 1968, with the help of Jeanne-Claude, Christo successfully carried out the wrapping of the Kunsthalle in Bern, Germany. Using the skills of professional rock climbers, the 27,000 square foot building was covered and bound in synthetic fabric. Their projects together became even more ambitious when the team completed Running Fence, 1972-1976. After logging hours assuaging public and private entities, the artists were permitted to string 2,050 panels of white nylon across a coastal section of California. The luminous ribbon stretched along to the sea, reflecting the sun's light. Perhaps their most ambitious work to date had been wrapping the Reichstag in Berlin, 1971-1995, when silver fabric was stretched across the massive building for a short period of time. Christo and Jeanne-Claude have influenced Performance and Earth artists.