Land and Water: Christo and Jeanne-Claude in America
A Curated Presentation • 24 August–18 September, 2022 • East Hampton

T he magical vision of Christo and Jeanne-Claude transformed our world. Their unforgettable projects modified land, cities and water to reveal the hidden riches of our environment. We see the world anew.

Land and Water: Christo and Jeanne-Claude in America honors the legacy of wonder created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Sotheby’s East Hampton is thrilled to present works from realized and unrealized projects across the decades. After meeting in Paris in 1958, the artists collaborated in the creation of monumental installations, often in the face of huge logistical challenges and financial hardship. This dynamic partnership ultimately realized 24 site-specific projects, 9 located in the United States. Sotheby’s presents studio works from four completed projects spanning the nation's coasts alongside one of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s most ambitious unrealized works.

Running Fence, from 1972-76, encompasses perfectly Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s grit and poetic vision. Spanning 24 miles through the rolling hills of 59 ranchers in Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, the white fabric danced in the wind for 14 days, leaving behind no trace after the completion of the project. In Biscayne Bay in Florida, the vibrant Surrounded Islands of 1980-83 imbued energy into the Miami community. After three years of planning and permits from 7 agencies, Christo and Jeanne-Claude surrounded eleven islands in harmony with their natural form in a vivid shiny pink fabric that electrified the Bay. Up the Coast in Manhattan, The Gates, 1979-2005, can be considered their most iconic American project. The concept from 1979 was realized in February 2005 when 7,503 saffron-colored were placed 12 feet apart throughout the weaving pathways of Central Park. In the coldest and darkest month of February, Christo and Jeanne-Claude brought life and energy into the frigid Central Park landscape, inviting the public to experience art firsthand.

Christo's studio creations are at once independent works of art and an integral part of the installations. Christo was not only a visionary in environmental space but also a superb draftsman, his studio works exploring intricacies of each project by combining draftsmanship with fabric samples, maps and photography. They are infused with land and water, demonstrating how a wave or gust of wind will interact beautifully with his and Jeanne-Claude's legendary intervention.

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