Christo, the Bulgarian artist best known for wrapping buildings including Berlin’s Reichstag and the Pont Neuf in Paris, has passed away at the age of 84, in his New York City apartment on 31 May.
The artist is known for the large-scale installations that he started creating with his late wife Jeanne-Claude in the 1960s. They include wrapping the German Reichstag in Berlin with 100,000 square metres of silver fabric, which was tied to the building for two weeks using 15.6 kilometres of blue rope. They also covered a medieval tower and a fountain in Spoleto, Italy in 1968, a 250-metre section of the Aurelian Walls in Rome in 1974, and the entirety of the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris in 1985.
“Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realising it,” said a statement from Christo’s office. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories.”
Christo continued to produce installations following his wife’s death on 18 November 2009. In 2018, The London Mastaba was installed on the Serpentine Lake in London, which marked their first major UK sculpture. Composed of a vast stack of brightly coloured barrels, the structure was also the culmination of over 60 years of working with stacked barrels.
His latest project, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, was to envelop Paris’ Arc de Triomphe in 25,000 square metres of silvery recyclable fabric and 7,000 metres of red rope. Christo‘s office said it will continue to produce the work with the ambition to complete it next year.
“Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always made clear that their artworks in progress be continued after their deaths,” it explained. “Per Christo’s wishes, ‘L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped’ in Paris, France, is still on track for September 18 – October 3, 2021.”
An exhibition about Christo and Jeanne-Claude‘s work will also open at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris on 1 July.