Le véritable voyage de découverte ne consiste pas à chercher de nouveaux paysages, mais à avoir de nouveaux yeux.
- Marcel Proust
- Marcel Proust
The great and ambitious works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, their installations and their projects, were born in some way inspired by Man Ray’s masterpiece of 1920, L’enigme d’Isodore Ducasse – the first wrapping with a cover and some cord of an ordinary object (in this particular case a sewing machine) that history has memory of – and mainly teach us to re-learn to see, urging us to re-discover, to have new eyes.
380 Wrapped Trees (Project for Avenue des Champs Elysées and Rond Point des Champs Elysées Paris), 1969
Plastic, twine, charcoal, gouache, tape and photograph collage on paper mounted on paperboard
71.1 x 55.9 cm
The Wall / Project for a Wrapped Roman Wall, 1974
Charcoal, graphite, pastel, fabric and threads on cardboard
70.5 x 55 cm
Signed, titled and dated along the lower edge
In ancient Greek, one of the most important words is « amazing», i.e. to be worthy of amazement, to be admirable. The philosopher, he who loves and seeks knowledge (sophia), is most of all a man who is amazed, a person who feels amazement (thauma, thaumazein) also as fear, dizziness, and disorientation. And looking, observing, means understanding. It is good to notice that still today, « I understand » can be expressed with I see.
The vast installations and the variegated projects by Christo and Jeanne-Claude – from the Air Package in Documenta in Kassel (1968) to the Mastaba (to be realized), from Valley Curtain (1970/72) to the present The Floating Piers on the Iseo Lake, from the Surrounded Islands (1980/83) to Over The River (to be realized), from The Umbrellas (1984/91) to The Gates (1979/2005) from Running Fence (1972/76) to Pont Neuf Wrapped (1975/85) and Wrapped Reichstag (1971/95) – were mainly conceived with the intention of hiding, completely or partially, or changing and decorating a place, a vast space, in order for it to be really seen, and understood again.
Over the River (Project for State of Colorado, Arkansas River), 1995
Graphite, enamel paint, wax crayon, tape and photograph by Wolfgang Volz on cardboard
43 x 55.9 cm
Valley Curtain (Project for Colorado) Rifle, Grand Hogback, 1971
Pencil, fabric, wax crayon, charcoal, photograph, typographic map and tape on board
72 x 56,7 x 2,4 cm
Signed, titled and dated
Proust said that the real journey of discovery does not consist in looking for new landscapes but in having new eyes. Hiding or changing temporarily to give new light, new life and vision to what has been taken for granted. Covering, for a short period of time, a monument, a shape, a presence, or a place, and to then relish it again. The highest etymology of a mainly religious word is revelation: to reveal. Taking off and putting on a veil, a wall, a covering. It is no doubt that the two main parameters that qualify a work of art and its historical significance are its beauty and its originality. Christo and Jeanne-Claude are great in beauty and generous in originality.
Copyright Repetto Gallery, London
Running Fence (Project for Sonoma County and Marin County, State of California), 1976
Charcoal, pastel, wax crayon and printed paper collage on paper. In artist's Plexiglas box
in 2 parts: 39.4 x 245.1 cm 108 x 245.1 cm. Overall 147.3 x 245.1 cm
Signed, titled and dated "Christo 1976 RUNNING FENCE (PROJECT FOR Sonoma County and Marin County, STATE OF CALIFORNIA)"
The Wall 1974 – Project for A Wrapped Roman Wall Porta Pinciana Delle Mura Aureliane, 1974
Graphite, coloured pencils, string, staples, paper and fabric collage on paper, mounted on card
56,5 x 71,7 cm
Signed, titled and dated upper edge
Over the River, Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado, Parkdale Siding, #42, 1996
Graphite, gelatine silver photographs, pastel, coloured pencil on printed paper, in 2 parts
Work in two parts, 30.5 x 77.5 cm and 66.7 x 77.5 cm
Store Front Project, 1965
Graphite, wax crayon, acrylic, cloth, plastic, nails and metal on masonite
33,5 x 28 cm (unframed) 46,5 x 40,5 x 5 cm (framed)
Signed and dated on the recto. The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the artist, and it is registered with the archives under the number 12.867