Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Life=Works=Projects

Sofia City Art Gallery presents an exhibition of photographs by Wolfgang Volz - whose work has become an integral part of the two great artists' oeuvre

Photo: Wolfgang Volz Christo and Jeanne-Claude working on the Umbrellas, Ibaraki, Japan, 1987-1988.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude succeeded in realising 24 projects during their creative journey, which span over 50 years. These projects change the world in an instant. As if time stops and together with the artists we can transfer into a familiar but at the same time different and more beautiful reality.

Over the decades, the presentation of their art in Bulgaria was very fragmentary and sporadic, if any. Only in 2015, with the direct involvement of Christo and with assistance from his team, mainly through Vladimir Yavachev, and on the occasion of the artist's 80th anniversary, the exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Prints and Objects 1963-2014 was presented at the Sofia City Art Gallery. That was the first comprehensive exhibition of the two artists in Bulgaria, and the collection was compiled by Christo himself. The visitors had the opportunity to see over 130 original, numbered prints and multiples of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, as well as photographs of their artworks by Wolfgang Volz.

The exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Life=Works=Projects gives us the opportunity to meet again with the various projects of the artists realised over the decades, on the one hand, and on the other, to “enter” their studio, where the process of creation runs, to “witness” their meetings with politicians and citizens, to get a feeling for their ideas and inspiration, for their immense energy and labour invested, as well as for the patience and perseverance needed to accomplish an artistic vision.

In 2020, Christo left this world shortly before his 85th birthday. The last project that his team will complete - L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped - is in Paris. The initial idea is from 1961, and it has been realised in 2021. Thus, another of Christo's dreams becomes reality 60 years later. Everyone will be able to see it, although for a short time - for 16 days from 18 September until 3 October. This is a project which we can still experience on the spot, even without its author.

L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped - this live object, which marked the end of Christo's journey and was completed in honour of the world-renowned artistic tandem - inspired the team of the Sofia City Art Gallery to prepare an exhibition of photographs by Wolfgang Volz - whose work has become an integral part of the oeuvre of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Wolfgang Volz has been working with Christo and Jeanne-Claude as the exclusive photographer of their works since 1971. He was also a project director for Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-1995, together with Roland Specker, and for Wrapped Trees, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-1998, with Josy Kraft. Volz was also in charge of the Wall - 13,000 Oil Barrels, Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, 1998-1999, and Big Air Package, Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, 2010-2013. His close collaboration with Christo and Jeanne-Claude has led to the creation of numerous books and more than 300 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world.

The exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Life=Works=Projects presents 47 colour and black and white large format photographs and will run until 7 November 2021. The curator is Matthias Koddenberg.


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