arts & entertainment
Christo, who passed away in 2020, was a world-renowned artist whose medium was certainly the message. Along with his wife, Jeanne-Claude, he created larger than life works from a palette that include miles of fabric or thousands of oil drums, and a canvas that was the environment itself. A retrospective of the artist’s work is currently on exhibit at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, entitled A Tribute to Christo and Jeanne-Claude: the Tom Golden Collection. Golden was a longtime friend, collaborator and collector of their work. This is the first commemorative exhibition since Christo’s death. Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009.
Some examples of their work include the Wrapped Reichstag. In 1995 Christo and Jeanne-Claude literally wrapped the Berlin Reichstag (parliament) building with 100,000 square meters of silver fabric. It was the result of 24 years lobbying German officials.
The Gates, Central Park, New York featured 7503 gates made of saffron-colored fabric 16 feet tall and 23 miles in length, placed in paths throughout the city’s iconic Central Park. From a preliminary proposal until the finished work took 26 years, finally opening to the public in 2005.
Closer to home, Christo’s Surrounded Islands in 1983 was created in Miami and consisted of 11 spoil islands in Biscayne Bay, each outlined with pink polypropylene fabric, 6.5 million square feet of which was produced by special order in Germany. More than 400 people were involved in constructing the work.
Running Fence was a 24.5 mile fence in 2,050 sections of white nylon, supported by steel posts and steel cables, that ran through the California landscape and into the ocean. It involved negotiations with landowners, public hearings and state court cases, before being approved. One of those 2,050 sections is part of the Museum exhibit.
These and many other works were created around the world, each taking years to plan, months to assemble and then disassembled in a few weeks. All their works were financed privately.
The exhibition at Vero Beach Museum of Art is from a collection of original drawings, sculptures, collages and photos that capture the versatility, longevity and international scope of the duo’s extensive career. It will be open to the public until September 5, 2021.
For further information, call (772) 231-0707 or visit the Museum website www.vbmuseum.org. The Museum is located at 3001 Riverside Park Drive, Vero Beach 32963.