Christo (1935–2020)

STATEMENT ON CHRISTO

May 31, 2020

Artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, known as Christo, passed away of natural causes today, on May 31, 2020, at his home in New York City. He was 84 years old.

Statement from Christo's office: "Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realizing it. 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 and Jeanne-Claude have always made clear that their artworks in progress be continued after their deaths. Per Christo’s wishes, 'L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped' in Paris, France, is still on track for September 18 – October 3, 2021."

Christo was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. He left Bulgaria in 1957, first to Prague, Czechoslovakia, and then escaped to Vienna, Austria, then moved to Geneva, Switzerland. In 1958, Christo went to Paris, where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, not only his wife but life partner in the creation of monumental environmental works of art. Jeanne-Claude passed away on November 18, 2009. Christo lived in New York City for 56 years.

From early wrapped objects to monumental outdoor projects, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's artwork transcended the traditional bounds of painting, sculpture and architecture. Some of their work included Wrapped Coast, Little Bay in Sydney, Australia (1968–69), Valley Curtain in Colorado (1970–72), Running Fence in California (1972–76), Surrounded Islands in Miami (1980–83), The Pont Neuf Wrapped in Paris (1975–85), The Umbrellas in Japan and California (1984–91), Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin (1972–95), The Gates in New York's Central Park (1979–2005), The Floating Piers at Italy's Lake Iseo (2014–16), and The London Mastaba on London's Serpentine Lake (2016–18).

Christo's temporary work of art in Paris, France, titled L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l'Étoile), is scheduled for September 18–October 3, 2021. Additionally, a major exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work and time in Paris will be on view this year, from July 1–October 19, 2020.

In a 1958 letter Christo wrote, 'Beauty, science and art will always triumph.' We hold those words closely today.

Photographs / Images

Christo at The Floating Piers, June 2016

Christo at The Floating Piers, June 2016 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude at The Gates, February 2005

Christo and Jeanne-Claude at The Gates, February 2005 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-18

Christo and Jeanne-Claude The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-18 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16

Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014-16 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005

Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91

Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91

Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85

Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76 Photo: Jeanne-Claude

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Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72 Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1968-69

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1968-69 Photo: Shunk-Kender

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