Artist profile

Christo

It is with great sadness to learn that Christo passed away at the age of 84 on Sunday 31 May. I first met Christo in 1968 when I worked for him for 3 months on the 5600 Cubic Meter Package, Project for Documenta IV, Kassel. This started a lifelong friendship of over 50 years during which our gallery made 12 one-person exhibitions with Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Christo was not just a great artist, but an inspirational spirit, who with his projects reached and involved so many. Most of all, Christo was a very generous and most beautiful person.
 
David Juda
 

As collaborative artists, Christo and Jean-Claude are renowned for their large-scale environmental works in locations around the worldincluding famously, Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado (1972), Surrounded Islands(1983) in Miami, the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin (1995), The Gates, Central Park, New York (2005), The Floating Piers, Lago D’Iseo, Italy (2016), and London Mastaba, London (2018).Their realized projects are recognised as monumental feats of creativity, many having taken years and even decades of obtaining permissions, planning and organisation. As a matter of principle, to ensure creative and ethical freedom, Christo and Jeanne-Claude independently financed all of their environmental projects entirely through the sale of their drawings, mixed media works and models. Although sadly Jean-Claude died in 2009 at the age of 74, Christo continued to pursue the development of projects they created together with vigour.  Christo passed away on 31 May 2020 and as per his wishes, in 2021 an ambitious project to wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris he first conceived of with Jeanne-Claude in 1962, will finally be realised; some 59 years after its conception.

Christo (Christo Vladimirov Javacheff) was born in 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria and Jeanne-Claude (Jeanne-Claude Marie Denat-de Guillebon) was born on the very same day in Casablanca, Morocco.  After studying at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia, Christo fled Bulgaria in 1958 and settled in Paris where he met Jeanne-Claude who became his wife and artistic partner.  In 1961 Christo and Jeanne-Claude created Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages at Cologne Harbour which was their first realised collaboration. They continued to work together under the name ‘Christo’ until 1991 when they then began titling their projects as ‘Christo & Jeanne-Claude’. They moved from Paris and settled permanently in New York in 1964.

Christo and Jean-Claude’s works are represented in museums and galleries worldwide, including MoMA, the Guggenheim Museum and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Tate Gallery in London and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Annely Juda Fine Art is proud to have worked with Christo and Jean-Claude for nearly five decades and has held 12 exhibitions of their work, from Projects Not Realized in 1971, to Christo and Jeanne-Claude 40 Years – 12 Exhibitions in 2011.

Biography

1935
Both Christo and Jeanne-Claude were born on 13th June, 1935; Christo in Gabrovo, Bulgaria and Jeanne-Claude in Casablanca, Morocco. Christo's father, Vladimir Javacheff, was a businessman and ran a fabric factory, and his mother, Tsveta Dimitrova, was the secretary at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia. Jeanne-Claude's mother, Précilda married at 17 to Jeanne-Claude's father, Major Léon Denat who was stationed in Casablanca with the French Military.
1952
Jeanne-Claude earned a bachelors degree in Latin and philosophy in 1952 from the University of Tunis, Tunisia
1953–56
Christo studied art at the Sofia Academy in Bulgaria
1958
Christo and Jeanne-Claude met in October, 1958
1994
Both artists decided to officially change the artist name "Christo" into the artists "Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Before 1994, when their projects were retroactively credited to both artists, they were collectively known as “Christo”.
1995
Christo was awarded the "Praemium Imperiale", a 'World Culture Prize' awarded by the imperial family of Japan on behalf of the Japan Art Association in the fields painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film. These are areas of achievement not covered by the Nobel Prizes.
2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were awarded with "Lorenzo Il Magnifico" (Lifetime Achievement) award by the President of the Florence Biennale, Pasquale Celona
2009
Jeanne-Claude died on November 18, 2009 in Manhattan, New York

Selected exhibitions

2020
L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris), Paris
2020
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Paris!, Centre Pompidou, Paris
2018
The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, London
2016
The Floating Piers, Lago D'Iseo, Italy
2013
Big Air Package – Project for Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany
2011
Christo and Jeanne-Claude 40 Years - 12 Exhibitions, Annely Juda Fine Art, London
2005
The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, New York
1995
Wrapped Reichstag (Project for Berlin), Berlin
1985
The Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project for Paris), Paris

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