CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE
b. 1935 & 1935 - 2009
STOREFRONTS (PROJECT PART IV ANO III)
signed, titled and dated 64-65
oil, graphite, wood strips, fabric, paper and plastic collage on wood
Unframed: 13 by 18¾ by 2½ in. (33 by 47.6 by 6.4 cm.)
Framed: 13½ by 19¼ by 3⅝ in. (34.3 by 49 by 9.2 cm.)
This work is in very good condition overall. All elements are present and stable. There is a fine layer of soiling to the surface. There is some wear to the edges and corners, visible upon close inspection. There are minute areas of scattered cracking, visible upon close inspection. There is a fine crack at each corner on the upper and lower outer edges where the wood parts meet, not affecting the face of the work and visible upon close inspection. Under ultraviolet light there is no evidence of restoration. Framed in a Plexiglas box.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Private Collection, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
Private Collection, Massachusetts (acquired from the above in 1968)
Christo and Jeanne-Claude are best known for their public works at a monumental scale all over the world, among them wrapping islands in Miami’s Biscayne Bay and a skyscraper in Manhattan. Part sculpture, part installation, part performance and often part land art and site-specific, works by the Bulgarian-French couple are fundamentally temporal, intervening the public space to interrupt our assumed relationship with and perception of place.
Among Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s most celebrated series are the Store Fronts from the early and mid-1960s, whereby the couple would construct a façade for a gallery or other sidewalk-facing space that gave air of a closed commercial space by nature of its covered up store-like vitrines. In doing so the interior/exterior relationship of that space is halted and redefined, as is the viewer’s place in the dynamic of indoor/ordoor space.
As noted by Lawrence Alloway, “the store fronts radiate a kind of suspense, as if the blocked windows or the closed door might admit one if you only knew the hours of opening. However, our perceptual and physical links are arrested as the invitation stays unfulfilled. What Christo [and Jeanne-Claude have] done is to turn physical space into psychological response, as the façade becomes a wall, absolutely canceling the inside… [They] cancel the internal space that we anticipate and define space as what is between us and the glass. The spectator’s investigative, voyeuristic impulse is converted into an experience of himself, as an object in space.”
The present work is a rare multimedia assemblage for these Store Fronts in the mid-1960s, one of the only remaining relics of this pivotal initiative by the artists. Unique and pioneering, this series would significantly contribute to a time where many artists were challenging the concept of space, the gallery, and the construction of the work of art as something more multi-faceted by incorporating the elements of time, a specific place and the viewer.
 Lawrence Alloway, Christo, New York 1969, p. VII