Corrections or additions?
This article by Nicole Plett was prepared for the April 24, 2002
U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Christo & Jeanne-Claude in Person
Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the veteran art-making couple
whose marriage and art partnership is now in its fourth decade,
a new artist’s lecture series at the Lawrenceville School with a talk
on Wednesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
With a public life spanning more than 35 years, these
once-suspect artists now loom as large on the landscape of art today
as their myriad massive projects. The pair’s first American
survey exhibition is currently installed at the National Gallery of
Art’s East Building, on view through June 23. The show features early
sculptures and documentary photographs of major installations
since the early 1970s by Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, who have gifted
the works to the nation.
Over the years, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s public talks have become
an integral part of their monumental sculptural projects. From the
massive "Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin," to the shimmering
Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California" — both decades
in planning — the landscape-changing artworks usually remain in
place for just 14 days. They are then efficiently dismantled, their
vast quantities of materials are recycled, and the land restored to
its original condition. The art reflects the couple’s creative vision,
patience, tireless powers of persuasion, and organizational genius.
"We make temporary works of art of joy and beauty," says
Yet while California, Florida, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland,
and Australia have all hosted major works, no such project has yet
been accomplished in the couple’s adopted home town, Manhattan.
Beginning in 1979, the artists began organizing for
"The Gates Project," a 26-mile installation of translucent
saffron-colored fabric suspended from 15-foot-high steel gates placed
along the footpaths of Central Park. In 1981 the project was refused
by the then-powers-that-be, but the artists have not been deterred.
"`Wrapped Reichstag’ in Berlin took us 24 years," says
"The project was turned down three times. It’s not new for us
that this project was turned down." Pressing on with their dream,
"The Gates" project was revived in 1996, and happened to gain
the support of Michael Bloomberg, now the city’s elected mayor and
one who is concerned with the long healing process from the terror
of September 11. "The Gates" today looks like more than a
golden glimmer in the eyes of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
— Nicole Plett
Heely Room, Memorial Hall, Lawrenceville, 609-620-6026. Christo
and Jeanne-Claude inaugurate the school’s new annual visiting artist
lecture series with a talk on works in progress: "The Gates:
for Central Park," and "Over the River: Project for the
River, Colorado." Free. Wednesday, May 1, 7 p.m.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.