Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
XTO+J-C: Christo and Jean Claude Featuring Works From the Bequest of David C. Copley
Review by Cathy Breslaw
XTO+J-C is an exhibition that features artist Christo’s best known monumental projects he and his late wife, Jean Claude accomplished over forty years. Included in their works are the 241 ½ mile long “Running Fence” in California’s Sonoma and Marin Counties(1976), the Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin (1995) and in New York’s Central Park, “The Gates” (2005) which included 7,053 fabric banners that spanned the walkways in the park. This exhibition features more than fifty works by Christo, and highlights recent gifts from the artist, as well as The David C. Copley Foundation. Since these are all environmental projects in various locations around the world, the exhibition displays installations, drawings and photographs from these years long projects as well as a 59 minute film documenting “Running Fences” from 1976. Also included are the Wrapped Packages (1960) alongside many drawings and collages related to Christo’s early wrapped objects – chairs, road signs, motorcycles, tables, telephones, wheelbarrows, armchair and luggage rack. These wrapped item drawings draw our attention to these everyday items through their ‘concealment’. Included as well are the large-scale “Store Front” (1965-66) and a related series of “Show Windows” from the early 1970’s, which expanded Christo’s sculptural art practice into the environmental realm and spawned the many subsequent outdoor projects. For those museum visitors unacquainted with Christo and Jean Claude’s work, the documentary is very educational and portrays many of the challenges these artists have had in creating environmental installations including communications with people in communities, and local, state and federal government officials to obtain permissions and legal papers as well as navigating throughout the long years and time frames for completion. The commonality across all their projects is the use of fabric and textile – fragile, sensual and temporary materials which translate the temporary character of the works of art and beauty.
|Christo Package fabric, rope and twine 29 1/2" x 13 1/2" x 8" 1960|