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From wrapped tin cans, oil barrels and chairs to wrapped staircases, bridges, buildings and even bodies, Christo has monumentally transformed our relationship with the mundane and our perception of the aesthetic potential in the packaged object. Like many of the American Pop artists, Christo's art is directly related to the daily objects and monuments we are confronted with in our modern urban-industrial culture. Like other members of the Nouveau Réaliste movement, Christo's intervention and creation of his artwork is in fact his choice of the objects and the manner in which they are presented. The existing cultural contextualization associated with the object and its milieu is challenged by Christo in his wrapping, draping, surrounding, or veiling of the object.
Christo's early work was generally concerned with the use of the manufactured object, and by the late 1950s he was wrapping cans, bottles and other such commonplace objects. Over time, however, he moved away from the singular object and his sculptures subsequently evolved into major installations in which he borrowed land, public structures and spaces to transform our impressions and associations with them. The realized projects remain installed for a finite time, yet their impermanence heightens their aesthetic appeal. They exist afterward only in the form of photographs, preparatory drawings, films, books, and in the memories of the viewers.
Christo has become an icon in the field of installation art, working on several projects at the same time and developing them sometimes for many years. Most recently he and his partner Jeanne-Claude undertook their first major project in New York City, which has been their home since 1964. "The Gates", a project which has been in the making since 1979, took place in February 2005 and lasted for sixteen days. It included 7,500 'gates' made from Saffron-colored fabric panels hanging seven feet above the ground, blowing in the wind and delighting the public walking beneath with a warm glow of translucent colour. The excitement and positive reactions which have surrounded this project have served to re-confirm Christo as a master of the ephemeral monument.
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE SWEDISH COLLECTION