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Vale Christo

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

We celebrate the life of artist Christo Javacheff, who passed away aged 84 in his home in New York on 31 May.

Christo is best known for his huge installation works that included wrapping buildings and famous landmarks in fabric or plastic.

Christo's six-ton curtain billows across Rifle Gap in Colorado, USA. Photograph by Bruce McAllister.

Christo was a favourite of New Zealand artist Karl Maughan. Two years ago Karl told us that Christo books were what he planned to give and hoped to receive for Christmas.

What I’d like to receive:

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin 1971–95 (Taschen, 1995).

I really like Christo because his work’s quite lovely. I mean it’s quite different from what I do obviously but that’s alright. I’ve got a few of his books. They’re my favorite books in the whole world because they’re brilliantly put together. This one’s about wrapping the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin. There’s one really special thing about these books − you get a sample of the fabric that he used. Isn’t it amazing that you get that in the book?

What I would give:

Christo, Running Fence: Sonoma and Marin Counties, California 1972–76 (Abrams, 1978).

There’s something so great about Running Fence. It’s got a sense of containment, and a beautiful ribbon-like quality. I’d give it to someone who wouldn’t expect to get such a book. Someone who wouldn’t even realise it would be a book they’d like. A literary person would be quite good I think.

First published ArtZone #77


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