Wrapped islands in Biscayne Bay – the Sydney Opera House – Central Park – Everyone has seen the pictures; now art enthusiasts can see the drawings and sketches that helped create those famous works from Christo and Jeanne-Claude, as well as photos of the finished product. CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE: PRINTS AND OBJECTS, an exhibition of more than 130 original numbered editions of prints and objects by Christo and photographic editions by Wolfgang Volz of works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, is on view November 10, 2012 - January 13, 2013 at the University of Miami Lowe Art Museum.
Varied in content and technique, the collection represents more than 40 years of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s versatile artistic career, and it includes works of art that date from as early as 1962 through 2004. The exhibition is being toured in the United States for this first time in more than 15 years.
Noteworthy pieces in the exhibition include preparatory works for and documentation photographs of “Surrounded Islands, Project for Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida;” lithograph/collages of “Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped” and “Wrapped Opera House, Project for Sydney;” photographs of “Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado” and “Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties;” and sculptural objects such as “Wrapped New York Times” and “Wrapped Payphone.”
Although Christo and Jeanne-Claude have worked primarily with fabric, they have described themselves as environmental artists, working in both rural and urban environments. The artists are known for large-scale projects of short-term, reversible interventions in cityscapes and landscapes; their most recent project, “The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005,” drew thousands of visitors to Manhattan’s Central Park during the 16 days of the project’s installation.
Many of the pieces in the exhibition relate to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s large-scale projects – some representing completed projects, and others representing the artists’ conceptions of projects that were never realized. The act of drawing and collage is preparatory one for Christo in anticipation of a project’s execution. Once completed, the large-scale, temporary projects are recorded in photographs, documentary films and books.
All works created to be indoors, from 1958 until today, such as wrapped objects and packages, drawings, collages, scale models and lithographs are works by “Christo.” All works created to be outdoors, and the large-scale indoor temporary installations, are works by “Christo and Jeanne-Claude.”
The cost of realizing the work is enormous. Christo accepts no sponsorship, commissions or any public funds. He sells everything he has from the early packages and wrapped objects of 1958 from his storage, and any preparatory drawings for projects that are available in order to cover the expenses of each project.
A member’s preview on Friday, November 9, 2012 will feature Jonathan Fineberg, Gutgsell Professor of Art History Emeritus, University of Illinois, presenting a lecture called, “ Christo and Jeanne-Claude: On the Way to the Gates.” The lecture begins at 7pm at the Storer Auditorium, University of Miami School of Business, with a reception following at 8pm at the Lowe Art Museum. The lecture is free for Lowe members and University of Miami students; the reception is free for Lowe members and $10 for non-members.
The exhibition is organized by Metropolitan State College of Denver, Center for Visual Art, Denver, CO.
Christo derives no income from this exhibition.
For more information about Christo and Jeanne-Claude, visit www.christojeanneclaude.net.
(top) Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida 1980-1983, 1984, Portfolio with 4 dye-transfer color photographs, mounted on rag paper, and sample of fabric used in the project. Photograph by Wolfgang Volz.
(bottom) Lower Manhattan Wrapped Building, Project for #2 Broadway, New York, 1984, Color lithograph with collage of fabric, twine and thread.