Galerie Gmurzynska is delighted to present for the first time an extensive overview of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s works in progress, rendered through imaginative sketches, drawings and photo collages.
These comprise the site-specific land art sculpture “The Mastaba” which Christo and the late Jeanne-Claude had conceived as early as 1977 for the dramatic sand desert landscape surrounding Abu Dhabi. “The Mastaba” presents an enigmatic cuboid shape particular to the Islamic architectural tradition of the tribes and noble families of the Arab peninsula. Conceived as the largest sculpture in the world with a total height of 150 meters “The Mastaba” will eventually become the artist duo’s only permanent large-scale work.
The second work in progress on view in St. Moritz, “Over the River”, was first conceived in 1992 and is a testament to the artists’ visionary and uncompromising notion of temporary sculpture interacting with the natural and manmade environment. In this case this would entail 5.9 miles of silver-toned fabric panels suspended atop a section of the Arkansas River in Colorado.
The shapes and the translucent and reflective nature of the panels will create continuously changing visual fields, by which the artistic and the natural factors together produce a singular but collectively shared experience independent from corporate, governmental or in fact personal financial interests and restraints. With “Floating Piers” (2014-2016) the exhibition provides a first view of Christo and Jeanne- Claude’s most recent project, created for Lake Iseo in the picturesque and lush landscape of the Lombardy region in Northern Italy.
The project further presents the first time after 40 years for Christo to realize a piece in Italy. In collaboration with the renowned critic and curator Germano Celant – Artistic Director of the Prada Foundation – Christo settled for Lake Iseo as the ideal site to stage several piers made from a vivid yellow fabric, allowing visitors to traverse and experience this locale in novel ways.
“Floating Piers” is slated to take place in the summer of this year, from June 18 to July 3. Christo and Jeanne-Claude are internationally recognized for their highly ambitious outdoor artistic interventions. Having exhibited in major showcases such as documenta 4 in 1968, their fluid, ever-changing and exceptionally beautiful wrappings and soft assemblages have adorned the most famous sites and buildings around the world: “Surrounded Miami Islands” (1983), “Pont Neuf” in Paris 1984 and the widely publicized “Wrapped Reichstag” in Berlin 1995 mark the most recognized high points that demonstrate their inclusive and generous idea for a contemporary public work of art.
Their works have been exhibited worldwide in major venues most recently at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2014); The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. (2010); and at the Martin-Gropius Bau Berlin (2001). Numerous monographs have been published over the last years including a Catalogue Raisonné “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Prints and Objects 1963-2013” in 2013 by Hatje Cantz.