Life and Work

Christo (left) and his two brothers Stefan (center) and Anani (right)
Gabrovo, 1942
Christo (left) and his two brothers Stefan (center) and Anani (right)
Photo: Vladimir Yavachev
© 1942 Christo
Jeanne-Claude holding her baby sister Joyce-May Alazrachi
Casablanca, 1939
Jeanne-Claude holding her baby sister Joyce-May Alazrachi
Photo: Archive
© 1939 Christo

1935

Christo: American, Bulgarian-born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, June 13, 1935, Gabrovo, of a Bulgarian industrialist family.

Jeanne-Claude: American, French-born Jeanne-Claude Marie Denat, June 13, 1935, Casablanca, of a French military family, educated in France and Switzerland. Died November 18, 2009, New York City.

1952

Jeanne-Claude: Baccalauréat in Latin and Philosophy, University of Tunis.

1953-56

Christo: Studies at Fine Arts Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Christo (left) during a drawing lesson
Gabrovo, 1949
Christo (left) during a drawing lesson
Photo: Archive
© 1949 Christo
Pencil-on-paper drawing by Christo of his father reading
Gabrovo, 1949
Pencil-on-paper drawing by Christo of his father reading
Photo: Eeva-Inkeri
© 1949 Christo
Christo making a painting of the Guillebon family castle
Essertaux, 1962
Christo making a painting of the Guillebon family castle
Photo: Wjera Fechheimer
© 1962 Christo
Oil-on-canvas portrait by Christo of Précilda de Guillebon (Jeanne-Claude's mother)
Paris, 1959
Oil-on-canvas portrait by Christo of Précilda de Guillebon (Jeanne-Claude's mother)
Photo: Christian Baur
© 1959 Christo

1957

Christo: Studies one semester at Fine Arts Academy, Vienna, Austria.

1958

Christo arrives in Paris where he meets Jeanne-Claude.

Packages and Wrapped Objects.

1960

Birth of their son, Cyril, May 11.

1961

Project for a Wrapped Public Building.

Stacked Oil Barrels and Dockside Packages, Cologne Harbor, 1961. Rolls of paper, oil barrels, tarpaulin and rope. Duration: two weeks. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's first collaboration.

Christo in his studio at 14 rue de Saint-Senoch
Paris, 1961
Christo in his studio at 14 rue de Saint-Senoch
Photo: Jean-Jacques Lévèque
© 1961 Christo
Christo at Dockside Packages
Cologne, 1961
Christo at Dockside Packages
Photo: Stefan Wewerka
© 1961 Christo
Christo during the installation of
Gentilly, 1961
Christo during the installation of "Oil Barrels Structure, 1961"
Photo: Jean-Dominique Lajoux
© 1961 Christo
Christo in front of The Iron Curtain
Paris, 1962
Christo in front of The Iron Curtain
Photo: Harry Shunk
© 1962 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Galleria La Salita, Rome, with
Rome, 1963
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Galleria La Salita, Rome, with "Wrapped Shoes, 1963"
Photo: Bettmann/Corbis
© 1963 Christo
Christo with
Düsseldorf, 1963
Christo with "Wrapped Car (Volkswagen), 1963"
Photo: Charles Wilp
© 1963 Christo
Charles Wilp (left) filming Christo's
London, 1963
Charles Wilp (left) filming Christo's "Wrapped Woman, 1963"
Photo: Anthony Haden-Guest
© 1963 Christo

1962

Wall of Oil Barrels – The Iron Curtain, Rue Visconti, Paris, 1961-62. 89 barrels. Height: 13.7 feet (4.2 meters). Width: 13.2 feet (4 meters). Depth: 2.7 feet (0.5 meters). Duration: eight hours.

Stacked Oil Barrels, Gentilly, near Paris, France.

Wrapped Woman.

1963

Show Cases.

1964

Store Fronts and Show Windows.

Establishment of permanent residence in New York City.

Christo in his studio with
New York City, 1966
Christo in his studio with "Four Store Fronts Corner, 1964-65"
Photo: Ugo Mulas
© 1966 Christo
Jeanne-Claude in Christo's studio with
New York City, 1966
Jeanne-Claude in Christo's studio with "Orange Store Front, 1964-65"
Photo: Thomas Cugini
© 1966 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Christo's studio with
New York City, 1966
Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Christo's studio with "Green Store Front, 1964"
Photo: Thomas Cugini
© 1966 Christo

1966

Air Package, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, 1966. Rubberized canvas balloon, polyethylene, rope and steel cables. Diameter: 17 feet (5.2 meters). Duration: one month.

42,390 Cubic Feet Package, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1966. Length: 60 feet (18.3 meters). Diameter: 25 feet ( 7.6 meters). Height: 32 feet (9.8 meters). Polyethylene: 8,000 square feet (740 square meters). Manila rope: 3,000 feet (914 meters). Duration: two days.

1968

Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower, Spoleto, Italy, 1968. Polyethylene and rope. Duration: three weeks.

Wrapped Kunsthalle, Bern, 1967-68. Polyethylene: 26,156 square feet (2,430 square meters). Nylon rope: 1.9 miles (3 kilometers). Duration: one week.

5,600 Cubicmeter Package, documenta IV, Kassel, 1967-68. Height: 280 feet (85 meters). Six concrete foundations arranged in a 920 feet (280 meters) diameter circle. Fabric: 21,528 square feet (2,000 square meters). Rope: 11,482 feet (3,500 meters). Weight: 7 tons. Duration: two and a half months.

Corridor Store Front. Total area: 1,450 square feet (135 square meters).

1,240 Oil Barrels Mastaba and Wrapped Hay, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Christo (right), Jeanne-Claude (center) and their chief engineer Mitko Zagoroff (left) during the installation of 5,600 Cubicmeter Package
Kassel, 1968
Christo (right), Jeanne-Claude (center) and their chief engineer Mitko Zagoroff (left) during the installation of 5,600 Cubicmeter Package
Photo: Klaus Baum
© 1968 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Wrapped Floor and Stairway, Museum of Contemporary Art
Chicago, 1969
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at Wrapped Floor and Stairway, Museum of Contemporary Art
Photo: Harry Shunk
© 1969 Christo
Christo directing work at Wrapped Coast
Little Bay, 1969
Christo directing work at Wrapped Coast
Photo: Harry Shunk
© 1969 Christo

1969

Wrapped Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1968-69. Tarpaulin: 10,000 square feet (930 square meters). Manila rope: 4,000 feet (1,219 meters). Duration: one and a half months.

Wrapped Floor and Stairway, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. House painter’s cotton drop cloths: 2,800 square feet (260 square meters). Duration: one and a half months.

Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1968-69. Erosion Control fabric: 1,000,000 square feet (92,900 square meters). Rope: 35 miles (56.3 kilometers). Length: 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers). Height: 85 feet (26 meters). Duration: two months.

1970

Wrapped Monuments, Milano, Italy, 1970Wrapped Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, Piazza del Duomo. Polyethylene and rope. Duration: one day. Wrapped Monument to Leonardo da Vinci, Piazza della Scala. Polyethylene and rope. Duration: two days.

1971

Wrapped Floor, Wrapped Stairs, Covered Windows and Wrapped Walk Ways, Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany, 1971. House painter's cotton drop cloths and brown wrapping paper. Duration: 50 days.

Christo directing work at Valley Curtain
Rifle, 1971
Christo directing work at Valley Curtain
Photo: Bill Wunsch
© 1971 Christo
Jeanne-Claude during the installation of Valley Curtain
Rifle, 1972
Jeanne-Claude during the installation of Valley Curtain
Photo: Duane Howell
© 1972 Christo
Christo with his scale model for Valley Curtain (1971), at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf, 1973
Christo with his scale model for Valley Curtain (1971), at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf
Photo: ullstein bild/Hellgoth
© 1973 Christo

1972

Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72. Width: 1,250 feet (381 meters) and a height curving from 365 feet (111 meters) at each end to 182 feet (55.5 meters) at the center. Nylon polyamide fabric: 200,200 square feet (18,600 square meters). Steel cables: 61 tons. Concrete: 864 tons. Duration: 28 hours.

1974

The Wall – Wrapped Roman Wall, Via Veneto and Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy, 1973-74. Woven polypropylene fabric and Dacron rope. Height: 49 feet (15 meters). Length: 820 feet (250 meters). Depth: varying between 13 to 18 feet (4.3 to 5.5 meters). Duration: 40 days.

Ocean Front, Newport, Rhode Island, 1974. Width: 420 feet (128 meters), Length: 320 feet (97.5 meters). Polypropylene fabric: 150,000 square feet (13,935 square meters) floating over the ocean. Duration: 8 days.

1976

Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76. 18 feet (5.5 meters) high, 24.5 miles (39.4 kilometers) long, crossing 14 roads. 2,050 fabric panels: 2,152,780 square feet (200,000 square meters) of woven nylon fabric. 90 miles (145 kilometers) of steel cables. 2,050 steel poles, each: 3.5 inch (8.9 cm) in diameter, 21 feet (6.4 meters) high. Duration: 14 days.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Christo's studio
New York City, 1976
Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Christo's studio
Photo: Fred W. McDarrah/Getty Images
© 1976 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude during the installation of Running Fence
California, 1976
Christo and Jeanne-Claude during the installation of Running Fence
Photo: Jim McHugh/Sygma/Corbis
© 1976 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the Running Fence
California, 1976
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the Running Fence
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude directing work at Wrapped Walk Ways
Kansas City, 1978
Christo and Jeanne-Claude directing work at Wrapped Walk Ways
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1978 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude during their first trip to the United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates, 1979
Christo and Jeanne-Claude during their first trip to the United Arab Emirates
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1979 Christo

1977

The Mastaba, Project for United Arab Emirates. In progress.

1978

Wrapped Walk Ways, Jacob Loose Park, Kansas City, Missouri, 1977-78. Woven nylon fabric: 135,000 square feet (12,540 square meters) over 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) of walkways. Duration: 14 days.

1983

Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83. Pink woven polypropylene fabric: 6.5 million square feet (603,870 square meters) floating around eleven islands. Duration: 14 days.

1984

Wrapped Floors and Stairways and Covered Windows, Architekturmuseum, Basel, Switzerland. House painter’s cotton drop cloths and brown wrapping paper. Duration: 17 days.

1985

The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85. Woven polyamide fabric: 450,000 square feet (41,800 square meters). Rope: 8 miles (13 kilometers). Duration: 14 days.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude directing work at The Pont Neuf Wrapped
Paris, 1985
Christo and Jeanne-Claude directing work at The Pont Neuf Wrapped
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at The Pont Neuf Wrapped
Paris, 1985
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at The Pont Neuf Wrapped
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1985 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude staking the future locations for The Umbrellas
Ibaraki, 1988
Christo and Jeanne-Claude staking the future locations for The Umbrellas
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1988 Christo

1991

The Umbrellas, Japan-USA, 1984-91. 1,340 blue umbrellas in Ibaraki, Japan. 1,760 yellow umbrellas in California, USA. Each umbrella: Height: 19 feet 8 inches (6 meters). Diameter: 28 feet 5 inches (8.66 meters). Valley size in Japan: Length: 11.8 miles (19 kilometers). Width: 2.5 miles (4 kilometers). Valley size in USA: Length: 18 miles (29 kilometers). Width: 2.5 miles (4 kilometers). Duration: 18 days.

1992

Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado. In progress.

1995

Wrapped Floors and Stairways and Covered Windows, Museum Würth, Künzelsau, Germany, 1994-95. House painter’s cotton drop cloths and brown wrapping paper. Duration: three months.

Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95. Polypropylene fabric with aluminum surface: 1,076,390 square feet (100,000 square meters). Rope: 9.7 miles (15.6 kilometers). Duration: 14 days.

1998

Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98. 178 trees. Woven polyester fabric: 592,015 square feet (55,000 square meters). Rope: 14.3 miles (23 kilometers). Duration: 23 days.

1999

The Wall – 13,000 Oil Barrels, Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, 1998-99. Height: 85 feet (26 meters). Width: 223 feet (68 meters). Depth: 23.7 feet (7.23 meters). Duration: six months.

2005

The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005. 7,503 vinyl gates, with free-flowing nylon fabric panels, anchored to 15,006 steel bases on 23 miles (37 kilometers) of walkways. Duration: 16 days.

Christo in his studio working on a preparatory drawing for The Gates
New York City, 2004
Christo in his studio working on a preparatory drawing for The Gates
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2004 Christo
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at The Gates
New York City, 2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude at The Gates
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo
Christo lecturing about Over The River
Denver, 2010
Christo lecturing about Over The River
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2010 Christo
Christo lecturing about The Mastaba
Abu Dhabi, 2012
Christo lecturing about The Mastaba
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2012 Christo
Christo inside the Big Air Package
Oberhausen, 2013
Christo inside the Big Air Package
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2013 Christo

2013

Big Air Package, Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, 2010-13. Height: 295 feet (90 meters). Diameter: 164 feet (50 meters). Volume: 6,250,000 cubic feet (177,000 cubic meters). Polyester fabric: 219,000 square feet (20,350 square meters). Polypropylene rope: 14,800 feet (4,500 meters). Weight: 5.3 tons. Duration: nine and a half months.