Artwork by Christo and Jeanne-Claude ,  Arc De Triomphe Wrapped (Project for Paris)(Schellman 144)

Christo A. Jean-Claude
Arc De Triomphe Wrapped (Project for Paris)(Schellman 144)

lithograph in colours with collage of broadcloth, thread, and city map with hand-colouring and charcoal editions mounted on board (as issued)
signed, numbered LP 12/20 and dated 1989 lower right; Printer: Landfall Press, Chicago; Publisher: Torsten Lilja, Stockholm
28 x 22 ins ( 71.1 x 55.9 cms )

Auction Estimate: $16,000.00$12,000.00 - $16,000.00

Price Realized $22,800.00
Sale date: September 28th 2021

Private Collection, Ontario
Artistic and romantic partners Christo and Jeanne-Claude, both born on June 13, 1935, met in Paris in 1958. Christo had just arrived in the French capital that year, where he rented a small room that had a view of the Arc de Triomphe. The young artist created the first of his famous wrapped sculptures in Paris: he covered paint cans, oil drums, a toy horse and a shopping cart in fabric, plastic and oil cloth. As he scaled up his projects to include public statues and monuments, the Arc de Triomphe remained his ultimate fantasy as a wrapping subject.

As early as 1962, Christo made a photomontage of the Arc de Triomphe wrapped, seen from the Avenue Foch. He and Jeanne-Claude undertook a ten-year project of wrapping the Pont-Neuf across the Seine River, as well as wrapping the entire Reichstag in Berlin, which endured twenty-five years of planning and execution. In 1988, the artist revisited the plans for the Arc de Triomphe with an elaborate collage. Only in 2019, ten years after Jeanne-Claude’s passing, did Christo announce that he had received permission from the French government to finally wrap the Arc de Triomphe.

The project, “L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris, Place de l’Étoile-Charles de Gaulle),” involves covering the arch with a silvery blue recyclable polypropylene fabric — nearly 270,000 square feet of it — held together with about 23,000 feet of red rope. It is fastened with roughly two miles of red rope in a subtle suggestion of the colors of the French flag. It was scheduled to be a two-week-long installation in March 2020. Unfortunately, it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and sadly Christo did not live to see it (the artist passed away on May 31st of that year). He had painstakingly worked out every last detail of the project, leaving the plans safely in the hands of the artist’s skilled team.

Paris and the art world at large is currently celebrating the posthumous realization of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s biggest fantasy. “L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped” is coming to life, with a live stream of the progress on view on the artists’ website. The finished project will be on view from September 18th to October 3rd, 2021. It coincides with an exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou, which looks back on the couple’s early years in Paris.

Cowley Abbott is thrilled to be offering a mixed-media work by Christo and Jeanne-Claude alongside this momentous event. The 1989 colour lithograph of the striking wrapped monument includes a collage with broadcloth and thread, and a city map with hand-colouring and charcoal, serving as a document in the process of planning this decades-long project. We are excited to honour and celebrate the life and work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude and await with anticipation the unveiling of the “Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped”.

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude