The Gagosian Paris gallery retraces the beginnings of the artist Christo, by unveiling his first works in an exhibition entitled Christo, early works.
The wrapped Arc de Triomphe
From June 10 to October 8, 2022, come and admire these exceptional works for free. You surely remember the wrapped Arc de Triomphe, the colossal posthumous work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, an exceptional installation which attracted all eyes in the fall of 2021. Today, almost a year after the completion of this colossal project, it is now possible to take an interest in a more unknown facet of Christo, by returning to the basics and immersing oneself in the work of the artist undertaken at the beginning of his career, from 1958 to 1963. Christo, early works is currently on display at the Gagosian Gallery, in the heart of Paris and the 8th arrondissement, in rue de Ponthieu. Around a selection of paintings, installations but also and above all sculptures, you will be able to retrace Christo’s journey starting from the very beginning. A rare insight into the artist’s creative process: some of the works presented on this occasion are sometimes exhibited for the first time to the general public. This is to say the interest of this exhibition, which will also allow you to study the progressive evolution of the technique of the visual artist over his achievements.
Wrapping everyday objects
Most of the early sculptures from Christo’s Wrapped Objects series incorporate conventional artistic materials such as paint cans and pigment bottles, wrapped in resin-impregnated canvas. Wrapping everyday objects in sheets of fabric or polyethylene and tying them with a rope, he modified their contours and surfaces, playing with their identity which he sometimes revealed and concealed at other times. Initially the result of instinctive aesthetic experiments, the series endured for over sixty years, inspiring ever larger and more complex interventions, until the colossal 2021 project, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, which he originally proposed in 1961. Christo was first interested in steel oil drums, primarily because they were large, inexpensive, and nearly indestructible. He began to cover them with the same fabric, varnish, paint and sand that he used for smaller objects such as cans and bottles.
Reminiscent of classical stll lifes
While these latter works are reminiscent of classical still lifes, the larger dimensions of the barrels and their arrangement forming a whole gave them a monumental character, prompting Christo to expand the scale of his environmental works. Sixty years ago this month, on the evening of June 27, 1962, Christo and Jeanne-Claude installed Wall of Oil Barrels—The Iron Curtain, barring historic Visconti Street with eighty-nine barrels. This 4.2 meter high barricade obstructed one of the narrowest streets in Paris for eight hours, preventing most traffic from the left bank. Their work with barrels will reach its peak with The Mastaba, designed in 1977 for Abu Dhabi. It will be Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s only permanent large-scale public artwork, and also, their latest project, The Mastaba will be produced according to Christo’s wishes by the artist’s team.
Christo, early works – Until October 8
4, rue de Ponthieu, 75008