Christo

Christo
Wrapped Trees, 1998
Wrapped Trees, 1998
Wrapped Trees, 1998
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Christo
Wrapped Trees, 1998

Drawing in two parts: pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, piece of woven fabric, photographic paper, paper sticky tape and agraffe on cardboard, 38 x 165 cm and 106.6 x 165 cm
Photo: Peter Schibli, Basel

In autumn 1998, parallel to the exhibition “The Magic of Trees”, the Fondation Beyeler presented an art action which brought international fame to the museum in Riehen: Wrapped trees by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. For the duration of a few weeks, 178 trees in the Berower Park and the near vicinity were shrouded in fabric. Their memory persists in the form, among others, of the two project sketches Wrapped trees. Combining scraps of fabric, views of the park, commentaries and plans, both two-part works document the situation in the museum park. But they also voice doubt as to the possibility of communicating the complexity of reality by means of traditional picture-making. Only the immediate, sensory experience of this event in the park was able to convey the phenomenal impact of Wrapped trees and the simultaneous occurrence of force and lightness, violence and tenderness, transparency and density. In the passing of the day and depending on the incidence of light, on wind, rain and snow, these mysteriously shrouded and trussed ‘creatures’ offered an astounding spectacle and breathtaking moments.

Wrapped Trees, 1998
Add to favorites 

Currently not on show

Christo
Wrapped Trees, 1998

Collage in two parts: pencil, chalk, photographic paper, wax crayon, fabric and cord on cardboard, 66.5 x 77.5 cm and 66.5 x 30.6 cm
Photo: Peter Schibli, Basel

In autumn 1998, parallel to the exhibition “The Magic of Trees”, the Fondation Beyeler presented an art action which brought international fame to the museum in Riehen: Wrapped trees by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. For the duration of a few weeks, 178 trees in the Berower Park and the near vicinity were shrouded in fabric. Their memory persists in the form, among others, of the two project sketches Wrapped trees. Combining scraps of fabric, views of the park, commentaries and plans, both two-part works document the situation in the museum park. But they also voice doubt as to the possibility of communicating the complexity of reality by means of traditional picture-making. Only the immediate, sensory experience of this event in the park was able to convey the phenomenal impact of Wrapped trees and the simultaneous occurrence of force and lightness, violence and tenderness, transparency and density. In the passing of the day and depending on the incidence of light, on wind, rain and snow, these mysteriously shrouded and trussed ‘creatures’ offered an astounding spectacle and breathtaking moments.

Christo

Christo & Jeanne-Claude:
Christo Javacheff: b. 1935, Gabravo (Bulgaria);
Jeanne-Claude de Guillebon: 1935, Casablanca – 2009, New York

The naturalized American couple of Bulgarian and French origin began living together in Paris in 1958, before moving to New York in 1964. Christo first became known in 1958 for his indoor installations with wrapped packages, cans and other objects. From 1961 onwards, he and his wife undertook outdoor projects on a monumental scale, wrapping entire landscapes and buildings. The idea behind these packaging projects of limited duration was to make viewers more conscious of the objects’ structure and inherent value. In 1969 the artists sparked controversy by sheathing 380,000 square metres of a cliff-lined bay on the Australian coast in synthetic fabric. Projects on a similar scale were Surrounded Islands in 1983, the wrapping of the Pont Neuf in Paris in 1985 and of the Reichstag in Berlin in 1995. In 1999 the couple produced an installation inside a gasometer in Oberhausen; titled The Wall, the structure measured 68 metres in length and 26 metres in height, and was made of variously coloured oil barrels. In 2005 they created a project called The Gates, consisting of 7500 vinyl gates draped in saffron-coloured fabric mounted along the paths of New York’s Central Park.

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