Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Selections From The Weston Collection
November 27, 2020 – April 30, 2021
Due to the ongoing global pandemic this exhibition is open to Windsor Members only. We will be reassessing The Gallery’s opening policies in the New Year.
About the Exhibition
Throughout their lives, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, created a series of large-scale environmental artworks in urban and rural sites around the world. The couple’s projects heralded the first wave of installation art, a practice that extends to the present and predominates much of contemporary artmaking.
Christo once stated that the purpose of the artworks, which were visually impressive and often controversial as a result of their scale, was simply to create for joy and beauty and to encourage new ways of seeing familiar landscapes.
Of the artists, W. Galen Weston once said, “What Christo and Jeanne-Claude do is outrageous. They expand my horizons – their work really does raise my head and make me wonder if I’m thinking as broadly or as imaginatively as I should.”
On view at The Gallery of Windsor are a selection of Christo and Jeanne-Claude works from The Weston Collection. Among the preparatory drawings and collages on display are realized projects including The Umbrellas, Japan and U.S.A.; Wrapped Trees, Riehen, Switzerland; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Florida; Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado; and The Gates, Central Park, New York. The selection also includes a number of works depicting the artists’ unrealized projects and photographs of completed works in situ.
About the Artists
Christo, who was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, and Jeanne-Claude, originally from Morocco of a French military family, seemed destined to live and create together, as they were born on the same day in 1935. Christo studied art in Sofia, Bulgaria, and in Prague. Jeanne-Claude studied Latin and philosophy in Tunis. They met in Paris in 1958 and went on to create an impressive body of monumental, deliberately temporary works together. Jeanne-Claude died, aged 74, on November 18, 2009. Until his own recent death on May 31, 2020, at age 84, Christo continued to work under both the artists’ names.
Throughout their 51-year relationship, they paid all expenses associated with their artworks, including planning, construction and de-construction, partly from the sale of Christo’s preliminary drawings, early works from the 1950’s and 1960’s and lithographs. They accepted no contributions, grants or other financial assistance, preferring to make their decisions separate from any potential influence of financial backers. Their works involved years of planning, meetings and hearings held by governments and communities for approval of their projects.
The artists’ works are held in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Musée d’art modern et d’art contemporain in Nice, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, among others.