Current Work: Christo (Lecture)

Recorded: December 6, 2010

In this video, Christo presents two works in progress: “Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, Colorado,” which will suspend 5.9 miles of fabric panels over a forty mile stretch of the Arkansas River in Colorado; and “The Mastaba, Project for the United Arab Emirates,” which will consist of 410,000 horizontally stacked, multi-colored oil barrels, forming an oblong trapezoidal monument nearly 150 x 225 x 300 m.

For over fifty years, the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s large-scale environmental works of art have juxtaposed the familiar and unfamiliar in rural and urban contexts, allowing viewers to experience landscapes, architecture, and objects with new eyes. The artists have realized numerous artworks including Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Australia, 1969; Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72; Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California,1972-76; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83; The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85; Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95; The Wall – 13,000 Oil Barrels, Gasometer, Oberhausen, Germany, 1999; and The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005.

Christo, born in Bulgaria and studied at the Fine Arts Academy, Sofia, met Jeanne-Claude in 1958 in Paris and have collaborated since 1961. The artists permanently took up residence in New York in 1964. Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009.

The Architectural League’s Current Work series presents the work of significant international figures, who powerfully influence contemporary architectural practice and shape the future of the built environment.


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