Chris·to (krĭsʹtō), Originally Christo Vladimirov Javacheff. Born 1935.
Bulgarian-born American sculptor and experimental artist best known for wrapping objects, especially large-scale items such as whole buildings, in fabric.
* * *orig. Christo JavacheffBulgarian-born U.S. environmental artist.After attending Sofia's Fine Arts Academy, he moved to Paris in 1958, where he invented empaquetage, the wrapping of objects in various materials as art. He began with cans and bottles, and eventually his projects expanded to buildings and landscapes. In 1964 he moved to New York City. He is noted for such monumental outdoor projects as Valley Curtain (1970–72) in Rifle Gap, Colo., and Running Fence (1972–76) in Marin and Sonoma counties, Calif. In 1995 he wrapped the Berlin Reichstag in metallic silver fabric. Though his displays, which are temporary and involve hundreds of workers, are controversial among environmentalists, they have been critically well received. Since 1961 most have been collaborative efforts with his wife, Jeanne-Claude (b. 1935).
* * *▪ Bulgarian artistin full Christo Javacheffborn June 13, 1935, Gabrovo, Bulg.environmental sculptor, noted for his controversial outdoor sculptures and displays of fabrics and plastics.Christo attended the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia, Bulg., and had begun working with the Burian Theatre in Prague when the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 broke out. He fled to Vienna, where he studied for a semester, and then, after a brief stay in Switzerland, moved to Paris and began exhibiting his works with the nouveaux réalistes. In 1964 he relocated to New York City, where his art was seen as a form of Art Povera.Christo's earliest sculptures were composed of cans and bottles, some as found, some painted or wrapped in paper, plastic, or fabric. The first larger works included Dockside Packages (1961; Cologne), Iron Curtain—Wall of Oil Drums (1962; Paris), and Corridor Store Front (1968; New York City). In the latter year he also completed a suspended 18,375-foot (5,600-metre) “air package” over Minneapolis, Minn., and “wrapped buildings” in Bern, Chicago, and Spoleto, Italy. His monumental later projects included Valley Curtain (1972; Rifle Gap, Colo.), Running Fence (1976; Marin and Sonoma counties, Calif.), and Surrounded Islands (1983; Biscayne Bay, Fla.). In 1985 in Paris, he wrapped the Pont Neuf (bridge) in beige cloth. In 1991 he created a display of umbrellas in the Japanese and California countrysides. Four years later he wrapped the Reichstag in Berlin in metallic silver fabric. The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979–2005 was unveiled in 2005. Stretching across 23 miles (37 km) of walkway in Central Park, the work featured 7,503 steel gates that were 16 feet (5 metres) high and decorated with saffron-coloured cloth panels. The Gates was on display for 16 days and attracted more than four million visitors.Christo's huge, usually outdoor sculptures are temporary, involve hundreds of assistants in their construction, are seen by viewers who would not necessarily visit museums, and force observers to reformulate their own aesthetics and views on the nature of art. His work is controversial, especially among environmentalists, but has for the most part been critically well received. Christo collaborated with his wife, Jeanne-Claude, on many of his works.
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