In his early twenties, Christo (Born Christo Javacheff in 1935) escaped the oppressive Communist regime in his native country of Bulgaria and wandered in exile throughout Europe, supporting himself primarily by painting commissioned portraits.
He has related his early wrapped-package works to the isolation and sadness of his coming of age in Bulgaria; the wheelbarrow, in particular, suggests a stateless, nomadic life. The package’s contents are suggested in the forms bulging beneath their cloth wrapping, but never revealed, for opening it would destroy the work.
In 1964, shortly after making Package on Wheelbarrow (1963), Christo relocated to New York. Since then, in partnership with his wife Jeanne-Claude (1935 – 2009) he has created many large-scale, temporary installations, wrapping buildings, bridges, trees and islands in fabric.
Claes Oldenberg Model for a Mahogany Plug, Scale B. 1969 (All Photos By Gail)
Hauser & Wirth’s cavernous space at 511 West 18th Street is currently hosting a selection of works from the collection of Reinhard Onnasch. A celebration of Onnasch’s longstanding passion for art and collecting, Re-View: Onnasch Collection is curated by Paul Schimmel, celebrated post-war scholar and Partner of Hauser Wirth & Schimmel.
Christo Wrapped Road Sign 1963
The exhibition focuses on the period between 1950 and 1970, decades when New York’s cultural influence was unrivaled and some of the most important artistic movements of the 20th century were born. On view will be iconic examples of Pop Art, Fluxus, Color Field, Assemblage, Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism.
Claes Oldenberg Soft Medicine Cabinet, 1966
The collection will be on exhibit through April 12th, 2014.
Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami and Julian Schnabel Are Part of The Art Army Royalty
Holy Cow, am I ever excited to tell you about a new art show that is must-see caliber material! The Jonathan Levine Gallery is currently hosting what may just be the coolest art exhibit in Manhattan! Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty is a mind blowing collection of 11-inch ‘action figure’ sculptures based on some of the world’s most popular contemporary artists, as interpreted through their particular distinctive art medium. The detail in these miniature sculptures is just amazing. I had fun examining each one and trying to guess, based on all of the meticulous details, who it was, before looking at the name – most of the time it was easy, but not always!
According to the exhibit’s Press Release, each figure is sculpted from scratch in polymer clay, surface-finished and texturized with acrylic paint and mixed media. Leavitt engineers the miniature sculptures with articulating joints, assembling moving body parts with elastic cord so that the figures can be posed. Leavitt’s Art Army is a satire on consumer culture, reducing the collector compulsion of two markets —art and product — into a miniature scale. Using the vinyl toy industry as a vehicle to convey the phenomenon of idolization and celebrity status in contemporary art and culture, Leavitt transforms the subjects into caricatures, along with the work they are best known for. Examples include portrayals of Damien Hirst as a bisected shark, Jeff Koons as a balloon animal, and Kara Walker with a paper-thin silhouette.
Matthew Barney As Depicted in His Cremaster Series Films
While Levine does not have Leavitt’s full collection on display (Ron English was conspicuously absent), you can preview what’s in store for you when you do visit the gallery at This Link. Definitely, this was the most fun I have had at an exhibit in a long time! Don’t miss it!
Michael Leavitt’s Art Army Royalty Runs through October 8, 2011 at the Jonathan Levine Gallery, located at 529 West 20th Street, 9th Floor (West of 10th Avenue) in New York. Gallery Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 6 PM.
Oh man, this news breaks my heart so bad. Jeanne-Claude, one half of the husband and wife artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, has passed away of a brain aneurysm. I’ve been a huge fan of Jeanne–Claude and Christo for ages and ages, ever since I saw a documentary film about the making of their Running Fence project when I was in college. And just a few years ago I was fortunate to experience The Gates right here in NYC’s Central Park. The snow was a foot thick on the ground and it was freezing outside but nobody seemed to mind. It was so awesome. It’s so weird that even just yesterday I was on a high floor in the building where I work on Wall Street that had several framed pictures of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’sSurrounded Islands on display. Pictures of their artwork are all over this building. I am so sad right now. The following statement is from the website Christo Jeanne-Claude Dot Net.
“Jeanne-Claude, 74, American artist and resident of New York City, died suddenly November 18, 2009 as a result of complications due to a ruptured brain aneurysm. Christo is deeply saddened by the passing of his wife, partner and collaborator and is committed to honor the promise they made to each other many years ago: The art of Christo and Jeanne-Claude will continue. Christo is dedicated to completing their current works in progress: Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, and The Mastaba, Project for the United Arab Emirates, as Jeanne-Claude would wish.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude met in Paris, France in November, 1958, sharing the same date of birth and have worked together for 51 years creating temporary works of art. It is Jeanne-Claude’s wish that her body be donated to scientific research. A memorial will be announced at a later date. Christo requests that flowers not be sent. Memorial gifts may be made to the charity of your choice.”