Christo’s gigantic fabric pieces

“The urgency to be seen is all the more great that tomorrow everything will be gone”. This sentence, like a mantra uttered by Christo, seems to resonate more than anything today as his works are showed in two French museums.

Made famous for their wrapped monuments, Christo Vladimiroff Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon commonly Christo have endeavored to cover with lacquered fabrics the buildings that history has made famous in order to make visible what over time may become common to sight of passers-by. Like supernatural apparitions, the huge draped fabrics have aroused many reactions and still continue to be talked about.

From the Pont Neuf (1985), to the Reichstag (1995) via the Biscayne Bay islands in Miami (1980-1983) or even the Colorado Valley (1970-1972), the couple never stopped to (un)veil the splendor of certain giants from the past. Not wishing to be affiliated with any artistic movement, Christo have established themselves in contemporary art with the only one desire to offer the public an experience outside the walls of institutions, an experience made possible from a few days to a maximum of a month.

After Christo’s death in 2020, the artist leaves behind countless traces of their projects that have called out millions of people. The Centre Pompidou in Paris pays homage to this artistic career in a retrospective conceived in several stages : the first years in Paris, the history of the Pont Neuf project and the screening of the film Christo in Paris by Albert and Davd Maysles. The exhibition is visible until the 19th of October 2020.

The Würth Museum offers a more intimate show, with collector Reinhold Würth having personnally known the couple, bidding them a final goodbye. Visible until the 20th of October 2021, the exhibition, as a « behind the scenes », presents a lot of sketches and models that have enabled each project to see the light of day.

The Arc de Triomphe, project initially planned for 2020, will finally take place in 2021. A posthumous work that will mark the culmination of Christo’s career who, like a ghost, will come to haunt one of France’s most emblematic monuments.


Pont Neuf, photo © Wolfgang Volz, 1985
Reichstag, photo © Wolfgang Volz, 1995
Surrounded Islands, photo © Wolfgang Volz, 1983
Valley Curtain, Colorado, photo © Wolfgang Volz, 1972