RIP: Female Half of Art Duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude Dies at 74


Artist Jeanne-Claude (née Denat de Guillebo) died in New York Wednesday evening of complications from a brain aneurysm. Along with her husband and artistic partner Christo, whom she met in 1958, she undertook an international series of large-scale outdoor installations, modifying landscapes with industrial strength cloth ballooned, wrapped, and tied. In a tale that legends are made of, the pair were born on the same date, the 13th of June in 1935, and allegedly in the same hour. Of note is the fact that all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects are self-financed — meaning a pretty significant initial outlay for, say, 1.076 million square feet of aluminum-coated fabric to cover the entire façade of the Reichstag in Berlin. In honor of Jeanne-Claude’s legacy in the realm of environmental art, we’ve compiled a visual primer of the duo’s oeuvre after the jump.

As reported in the LA Times arts blog Culture Monster, Jeanne-Claude’s professed to keep no favorites among her many influential works: “We always say that each one of our projects is a child of ours, and a father and mother who have many children will never tell you which one is their favorite. If people insist that we have to have a favorite one, then we say, ‘Okay, you are right, we do have a favorite one and it’s always the next one.'”

Sketches for Over the River, a project in progress for the Arkansas River in Colorado.

The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City, 2005

Wrapped Trees in Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1998. 178 trees were wrapped with nearly 600,000 square feet of the fabric used in Japan to wrap trees for winter.

Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1995.

1991: the joint Umbrella Project in Japan and California consists of opening 3,100 umbrellas in two places at once.

The Pont Neuf bridge wrapped, Paris 1985: 454,178 square feet of woven polyamide fabric, “silky in appearance and golden sandstone in color.”

Running Fence, in Sonoma and Marin counties, California, 1976. The fence extended 24.5 miles along Freeway 101 north of San Francisco.

Surrounded Islands outside of Miami, Florida, 1983: 11 islands in Biscayne Bay Biscayne Bay were surrounded by floating pink woven polypropylene fabric covering the surface of the water.