Christo Bulgarian / American, 1935-2020

As collaborative artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude were renowned for their large-scale environmental works in locations around the worldincluding famously, Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado (1972), Surrounded Islands (1983) Miami, Wrapped Reichstag, 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 their environmental projects entirely through the sale of their drawings, mixed media works and models.  Jeanne-Claude died in 2009 at the age of 74 but Christo continued to pursue the development of projects they created together with vigour.  Most recently the ambitious project of wrapping L'Arc de Triomphe in Paris was completed in 2021, one year later than planned due to the global pandemic.  This project was conceived in 1961, three years after Christo and Jean Claude met in Paris.  It was based on a photomontage from 1962 and a collage of the same proposal in 1988.  Sadly, Christo died at his home in New York in 2020 at the age of 84 and L’Arc de Triomphe was completed by their team as per his and Jeanne-Claude’s wishes.  Their team now are now working on the only permanent large-scale public artwork by Christo and Jean Claude, The Mastaba, Project for United Arab Emirates, which began in 1977.

Christo (Christo Vladimirov Javacheff) was born 13 June 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 realised their first collaborative work: Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages at Cologne harbour.  They began titling their projects as ‘Christo & Jeanne-Claude’ in 1991, having previously been known only as ‘Christo’.  They moved from Paris and settled permanently in New York in 1964.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s works are represented extensively in major museum and public collections 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 closely with Christo and Jeanne-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.