Christo (American/Bulgarian, b.1935) is a sculptor best known for his unique wrapped works, which span from small-scale wrapped books to entire buildings and sites in nature, encased in fabric. Christo, born Christo Vladimiroff Javacheff, attended the art academy in Sofia as a youth, trained in the Socialist Realist aesthetic of the era. He moved to Prague, where he was first exposed to the work of early European modernists, and later to Paris, where he befriended a group of artists including Yves Klein (French, 1928–1962) and Jean Tinguely (French, 1925–1991), who called their artistic movement “New Realism.” Christo also met his wife and artistic partner Jeanne-Claude Guillebon (American/French, 1935–2009) in Paris, and the two would collaborate on future outdoor and public works; Jeanne-Claude also manages the financial and organizational aspects of many of the large-scale works.

Christo first began wrapping small objects, such as cans, books, and furniture, in the early 1960s, and then expanded his production to include crates, cars, and bicycles. In 1964 he and Jeanne-Claude moved to New York, where Christo worked on monumental outdoor and environmental sculptures, including a wrapped fountain in Italy, the swathing of the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland in fabric, the creation of the fabric Runnning Fence down the California coast, and the wrapping of a mile of the Australian coastline in Wrapped Coast. He gained both positive and negative criticism for his sculptures and installations, which expanded to include the wrapping of the Pont-Neuf bridge in Paris, and the placing of a line of umbrellas—hundreds of miles long—in the Pacific ocean between Japan and the United States. In one of the most poignant and meaningful pieces, Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the Reichstag in Germany, symbolic of the healing old wounds between the previously divided state. In addition to his wrapped sculptures, which often require millions of dollars and hundreds of assistants to create, and are funded entirely by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Christo has created many collages and works on paper in preparation for each sculpture. Most recently, he worked on The Gates for Central Park in New York City, where he continues to reside after Jeanne-Claude's death in 2009.

Timeline

1935
Jeanne-Claude: Born Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon in Casablanca, Morocco
1935
Christo: Born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff in Gabrovo, Bulgaria
1952
Jeanne-Claude: Baccalaureat in Latin and Philosophy, University of Tunis, Tunisia
1952–1956
Christo: Studied at the Fine Arts Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria
1957
Christo: Studied one semester at the Vienna Fine Arts Academy, Vienna, Austria
1958
Christo arrived in Paris, France, where he met Jeanne-Claude
1964
Established permanent residence in New York, USA
2009
Jeanne-Claude: Died in New York, USA
Christo lives and works in New York, USA

Exhibitions

2013
Pop Art Accrochage, Fluegel-Roncak Gallery, Nuremberg, Germany
KUNSTKABINETT Christo Und Jeanne-claude - Ideen Und Realisierungen - KUNSTKABINETT, Regensburg
Gasometer Oberhausen Big Air Package - Gasometer Oberhausen, Oberhausen
Christo - Big Air Package - Ludwig Galerie - Schloß Oberhausen, Oberhausen
Von Kopf bis Fuß - Porträts und Menschenbilder in der Sammlung Würth - Kunsthalle Würth, Schwäbisch Hall
Schauplatz Stadt - Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Installationen von der Klassischen Moderne bis zur Gegenwart - Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr, Mülheim/Ruhr
Christo und Jeanne-Cloude - Ideen und Realisierung - Fischerplatz Galerie, Ulm
Christo und Jeanne-Cloude - Ideen und Realisierung - Galerie im Venet-Haus Neu-Ulm, Neu-Ulm
Poesie der Reduktion - Minimal, Concept, Land Art - Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig - MUMOK , Vienna
2012
Christo and Jeanne-Claude - Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables (Miami), FL
Contemporary Print Selections from Wells Fargo Art Collection - South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, SD
Christo und Jeanne-Claude - Galerie Kersten, Brunnenthal
Christo and Jeanne-Claude - Art Forum Würth Capena, Capena
2011
Christo & Jeanne-Claude - Annely Juda Fine Art, London (England)
CHRISTO - Ponte Sant Angelo, Wrapped - Project for Rome, 2011 - Galerie Hafenrichter, Nuremberg
Christo und Jeanne-Claude - Münsterlandmuseum Burg Vischering, Lüdinghausen
Christo And Jeanne-claude - Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT
2010
Platform 3/3, Friedrichshafen, Germany
Reflex Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
21/21 Design Site, Tokyo, Japan
RUF Gallery, Munich, Germany
Alp Galleries, Frankfurt, Germany
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC
Gallery Sissman, Tel Aviv, Israel
XIX Gallery, Holzminden, Germany
2009
Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, NC
Bemis Center for the Arts, Omaha, NE
Ulrich Arts Center, Kansas City, MO
Museo Würth La Rioja, Agoncillo – La Rioja, Spain
2008
Sangre de Cristo Art Center, Pueblo, CO
The Center for Fine and Performing Arts, Toledo, OH
Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain
Center for Visual Arts, Denver, CO
Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Shanghai, China
The Phillips Collection, Washington DC
2007
Montrasio Arte, Milano, Italy
Galleria Tega, Pietrasanta, Italy
Guy Pieters, Saint-Paul de Vence, France
Museum Würth, Turnhout, Belgium (solo)
Museum Würth, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands (solo)
2006
Museo d’Arte Moderna, Lugano, Switzerland (solo)
Guy Pieters, Knokke, Belgium
Austin Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Fundación Canal, Madrid, Spain
Miyanomori Art Museum, Sapporo, Japan (solo)
Museum der Bildenden Künste, Leipzig, Germany (solo)
Kunsthalle Rostock ,Rostock, Germany (solo)
2005
The Gates (1979-2005), Central Park, New York, NY
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Canada
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Bank Leu, Zürich, Switzerland
Museum of The City of New York, New York, NY (solo)
Bass Museum, Miami Beach, FL (solo)
National Academy of Art, Sofia, Bulgaria
Nice Sofia Antipolis University, Nice, France
Kristianstad Konsthall, Kristianstad, Sweden (solo)
Portland Museum of Art Portland, Maine (solo)
Kunstverein Passau, Passau, Germany (solo)
2004
National Academy of Design, New York, NY
Galleria d’Arte Tega, Milano, Italy
Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
Pasquart Art Center, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
John Natsoulas Center For The Arts, Davis, CA
Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL
2003
Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands
Guy Pieters Galerie, De Latemse, Belgium
Galleria Morine, Milano, Italy
Eckert Fine Art, Naples, FL
Gallery of Fine Art, Edison College, Fort Myers, FL
2002
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Galleria Morine, Milano, Italy
Fundació “La Caixa”, Centre Cultural Torre Vella, Salou, Spain
2001
Guy Pieters Gallery, Saint Paul de Vence, France
Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA
Galerie Georg Nothelfer, Berlin, Germany
Gallery Delaive, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany
2000
Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, CA
Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
1999
Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong, China
Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain, Nice, France
Centre Cultural de la Fundació “la Caixa”, Barcelona, Spain
The Wall,13,000 Oil Barrels, Gasometer, Oberhausen, Germany,1998-99
1997–1998
Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen-Basel, Switzerland
Colorado Mountain College, Vail, CO
Vero Beach Art Museum, Vero Beach, FL
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Taylor Museum, CO
Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke Le Zoute, Belgium
Western Colorado Center for the Arts, Grand Junction, CO
Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, Denver, CO
1997
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, UK
Gallerie Stephanie Hollenstein, Lustenau, Switzerland
1996
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN
The Adelson Art Gallery,The Aspen Institute, Aspen, CO
Macy Gallery, Columbia University, New York, NY
Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO
1995
Wrapped Reichstag (1971-95), Berlin, Germany
Wrapped Floors and Stairways and Covered Windows, Museum Wurth, Kunzelsau, Germany
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Galerie A, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Richmond Art Museum, Richmond, IN
Laura Carpenter Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM
1994
Galeria Morone, Milan, Italy
Staats Bibliotek, Berlin, Germany
California Museum of Art, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, CA
1993
Art Front Gallery, Hillside Terrace, Tokyo, Japan
Kunsthaus Wien, Vienna, Austria
Galerie Kaj Forsblom, Zürich, Switzerland
Kunstmuseum, Bonn, Germany
1992
Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, CO (in progress)
The Shiga Museum of Modern Art, Shiga, Japan
Gallery Hyunda, Seoul, Korea; Gallery Seomi, Seoul, Korea
1991
Cunningham Art Museum Bakersfield, CA
The Umbrellas (1984-1991), Ibaraki, Japan; CA
Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design, Denver, CO
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain
Cunningham Art Museum, Bakersfield, CA
Seomi Gallery, Seoul, Korea
1990
De Saisset, Museum Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
Sonja Henie-Niels Onstad Foundation, Høvikodden, Norway
Bogerd Fine Arts, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Gallery Seomi, Seoul, Korea
Hong Kong Art Center, Hong Kong, China
1989
Yvon Lambert-La Défense, Paris, France
Gallery Guy Pieters, Knokke-Zoute, Belgium
Stanford University Museum of Art, Stanford, CA
Galerie Catherine Issert, St. Paul de Vence, France
Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, OH
1988
The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
The Satani Gallery, Tokyo,Japan
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan, China
Labirynt 2 Gallery, Lublin, Poland
1987
Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland
The Museum of Modern Art, Seibu Takanawa, Karuizawa, Japan
Salena Gallery, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY
1986
Bass Museum, Miami Beach, FL
Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain
Bass Museum, Miami Beach, FL
Satani Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1985
The Pont Neuf Wrapped (1975-1985), Paris, France
Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Fondation Maeght, St. Paul de Vence, France
Fairweather Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL
1984
Wrapped Floors and Stairways and Covered Windows, Architecture Museum, Basel, Switzerland
Palazzo Grassi, Venezia, Italy
Satani Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
National Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Boston Atheneum, Boston, MA
1983
Surrounded Islands (1980-1983), Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL
Fukuoka Municipal Museum of Art, Japan
Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain
National Museum of Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Delahunty Gallery, Dallas, TX
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
1982
Satani Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Stadel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany
Hara Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Galerie Catherine Issert, St. Paul de Vence, France
Dumont-Landis Gallery, New Brunswick, NJ
Galerie Schellmann and Klüser, Munich, Germany
1981
American Graffiti Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Vehicle Gallery, Montréal, Canada
Hokin Gallery, Miami, FL
The Albuquerque Museum, Albuquerque, NM
Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montréal, Canada
The University of Texas, El Paso, TX
Ludwig Museum, Cologne, Germany
Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Portland, OR
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
Watari Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1980
Newport Harbor Museum, Newport Beach, CA
Newport Harbor Museum, Newport Beach, CA
Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH
Midwest Museum of Art, Elkhart IN
Galerie Kornfeld, Zürich, Switzerland
French Cultural Center Alliance Française, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
1979
The Mastaba of Abu Dhabi, project for the United Arab Emirates, (in progress)
Institute of Contemporary Art, London, UK
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Wright State University, Dayton, OH
The Laguna Gloria Museum, Austin, TX
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, DC
Galerie Catherine Issert, Saint Paul de Vence, France
1978
Wrapped walkways, Loose Park, Kansas City, MO
The American Foundation for the Arts, Miami, FL
Galerie Art in Progress, Munich, Germany
Kunstgewerbe Museum, Zürich, Switzerland
Palais des Beaux Arts, Bruxelles, Belgium
Musée de Grenoble, France
1977
Galeria Joan Prats, Barcelona, Spain
Galeria Trece, Barcelona, Spain
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
Metropolitan Museum, Miami, FL
Museum Boymans-van-Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
American Center, Kyoto, Japan
Rheinishes Landes Museum, Bonn, Germany
The Mastaba, Project for United Arab Emirates, in progress
1976
Running Fence ( 1972-1976), Sonoma and Marin Counties, CA
San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco,CA
Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA
The Broxton Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Museum of the 20th Century, Vienna, Austria
1975
The Art Museum Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Musée Jenisch, Vevey, Switzerland
White Gallery, Lutry, Switzerland
The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, CA
M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA
Galeria Ciento, Barcelona, Spain
1974
The Wall, Wrapped Roman Wall, Via V. Veneto and Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy
Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark
Sonja Henie-Niels Onstad Foundation, Høvikodden, Norway
Galerie W. Aronowitsch, Stockholm, Sweden
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Grenoble, France
1973
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Alan Frumkin Gallery, New York, NY
Galerie Françoise Lambert, Milan, Italy
Galerie Charles Kriwin, Bruxelles, Belgium
Neue Pinakotechk, Munich, Germany
Max Protetch Gallery, Washington, DC
Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, NY
Kunsthaus, Zürich, Switzerland
1972
Valley Curtain (1970-1972) , Grand Hogback, Rifle, CO
The New Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Galerie Semiha Huber, Zürich, Switzerland
Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, CA
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
1971
Wrapped Floors, Covered Windows and Wrapped Walk Ways, Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX
Annely Juda Fine Art, London, UK
Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris, France
Galerie Victor Loeb, Bern, Switzerland
Centro La Capella, Trieste, Italy
Galerie Mikro, Berlin, Germany
1970
Wrapped Monuments, Monument to Vittorio Emanuele, Plaza del Duomo; Monument to Leonardo da Vinci, Piazza della Scala, Milano, Italy
The New Gallery, Cleveland, OH
Galerie Françoise Lambert, Milan, Italy
Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zürich, Switzerland
1969
Wrapped Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Wrapped Floor and Stairways, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Wrapped Coast, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia
Project for stacked Oil Barrels, Houston Mastaba, TX
Lo Giudice Gallery, Chicago, IL
Wide White Space Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
1968
Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower, Spoleto, Italy
Two Tons of Stacked Hay, Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
Wrapped of a Public Building, Kunsthalle, Berne, Germany
5,600 Cubicmeter Package, Documenta 4, Kassel, Germany
1,240 Barrels Mastaba; Two Tons of Stacked Hay, I.C.A, Philadelphia, PA
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
John Gibson Gallery, New York, NY
Galleria del Leone, Venezia, Italy
1967
Wide White Space Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
Galerie der Spiegel, Cologne, Germany
1966
Air Package and Wrapped Tree, Stedelijk von Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
42,390 Cubicfeet Package, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; Minneapolis School of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
Galeria Apollinaire, Milano, Italy
Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1964
Galerie Ad Libitum, Antwerp, Belgium
Galleria G. E. Sperone, Torino, Italy
Galleria del Leone, Venezia, Italy
Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, Germany
1963
Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf, Germany
Galleria Apollinaire, Milano, Italy
Galleria del Leone, Venezia, Italy
Galleria La Salita, Roma, Italy
Store Fronts und Show Windows
1962
Wrapping a Girl, London, UK
1961–1962
Iron Curtain-Wall of Oil Barrels, blocking the Rue Visconti, Paris, France
Galerie J, Paris, France
1961
Galerie Haro Lauhus, Cologne, West Germany
Project for the Packaging of a Public Building
Stacked oil Barrels; Dockside Packages, Cologne Harbor, Cologne, Germany

Public Collections

Centre Canadien d’Architecture, Montréal, Canada
Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia
Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC
Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH
Albuquerque Museum of Art, Albuquerque, NM
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Kunst Museum Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN
Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA
Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, La Jolla, CA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY
Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
Kunsthaus, Zürich, Switzerland
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
Museum of Contemporary Art, Teheran, Iran
Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

Literature

2009
Koddenberg, Matthias (ed.), Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Early Works 1958-64. Kettler Verlag, Bönen, Germany, 2009