NEW YORK – Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, the plastic artist who wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont-Neuf in Paris and filled Central Park with saffron-colored fabrics, examples of his monumental environmental works, died this Sunday at his New York home from natural causes at the age of 84, the family reported on social media.
Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, with whom he worked, transcended the traditional limits of painting, sculpture and architecture under the concept of “Land Art.”
Some of his colossal works were “Wrapped Coast” in Australia (1968-69), “Valley Curtain” in Colorado (1970-72), “Running Fence” in California (1972-76), “Surunded Islands” in Miami (1980-83), “The Pont Neuf Wrapped” in Paris (1975-85), “The Umbrellas” in Japan and California (1984-91), “Wrapped Reichstag” in Berlin (1972-95), “The Gates” in New York’s Central Park (1979-2005), “The Floating Piers” at Italy’s Lake Iseo (2014-16) and “The London Mastaba” at Serpentine Lake, London (2016-18).
Christo’s temporary work of art in Paris, titled “L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped” (Project for Paris), was scheduled to open on Sept. 18, 2021.
In addition, a great exhibition at the Georges Pompidou Center on the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Paris will be available this year.
Christo, who lost his wife Jeanne-Claude in 2009, was born in Bulgaria on June 13, 1935, fled “from the communist regime” in 1957 and never returned to that country. He first went to Prague and then escaped to Vienna, to move to Geneva.
In 1958, Christo went to Paris, where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, who was not only his wife but his partner in the creation of works of art. Jeanne-Claude passed away on Nov. 18, 2009. Christo lived in New York City for 56 years.
On a visit to Miami two years ago on the occasion of an exhibition, Christo stated that art is not a “profession” or a “nine to five” job, it has more to do with things like alcoholism with something “without which you cannot live.” It has to do with “being,” he added.
“Christo lived his life fully, not only imagining what seemed impossible but realizing it. The work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude brought people together in shared experiences around the world, and their work continues in our hearts and our memories,” wrote his family in a message on social media networks.
His latest project in preparation, packing the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris, which promised to be one of the most spectacular events of the September return, had been postponed for a year due to the uncertainty related to the coronavirus. It was postponed until September 2021.