Contemporary Conversations: The Legacy of Christo & Jeanne-Claude

8 FEBRUARY 2021 • 7:30 PM CET
Join Sotheby's Simon Shaw in conversation with Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artist JR and Architect Sumayya Vally, celebrating the legacy of Christo & Jeanne-Claude, and their influence on contemporary artists. The sale of Christo & Jeanne-Claude's captivating collection of artistic inspirations will take place in Paris on 17 February, with an online sale open for bidding from 8-18 February.

Meet the Panel

Hans Ulrich Obrist

Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) is Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show “World Soup” (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 300 shows. Obrist’s recent publications include Ways of Curating (2015), The Age of Earthquakes (2015), Lives of the Artists, Lives of Architects (2015), Mondialité (2017), Somewhere Totally Else (2018) and The Athens Dialogues (2018).


JR is a multi-disciplinary artist who exhibits freely in the streets of the world, often monumental installations, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors, from the suburbs of Paris to the slums of Brazil to the buildings of New York. His recent projects include a large-scale pasting in a maximum security prison in California, a video mural including 1,200 people presented at SFMOMA, a collaboration with New York City Ballet, an Academy Award Nominated feature documentary co-directed with Nouvelle Vague legend Agnès Varda, a social restaurant for homeless and refugees in Paris or a gigantic installation at the US-Mexico border fence. He was on TIME Magazine 100 Most Influential People list in 2018.

Sumayya Vally

Sumayya Vally is the founder and Principal of Counterspace. Her design, research and pedagogical practice is committed to finding expression for hybrid identities and contested territories. She is in love with Johannesburg. It serves as her laboratory for finding speculative histories, futures, archaeologies, and design languages; with the intent to reveal the invisible. Her work is often forensic, and draws on performance, the supernatural, the wayward and the overlooked as generative places of history and work. Sumayya currently leads Unit 12: An African Almanac at the Graduate School of Architecture, University of Johannesburg, where she has taught since 2015. She is presently based between Johannesburg and London as the lead designer for the Serpentine Pavilion 2020/1

Simon Shaw

Simon Shaw began his Sotheby’s career in 1996 in the 19th Century Pictures department in Paris. Rising to leadership roles in Europe, he instituted auctions of Nordic and Greek Art in London before becoming Head of Impressionist & Modern Art in London in 2006. When, two years later, he was appointed in New York Simon became the only Specialist to have run this Department on both sides of the Atlantic. He subsequently served as Global Co-Head of Impressionist & Modern Art from 2015 to 2019.

Today, as Vice Chair of Sotheby’s Fine Art Division, Simon advises important collectors and institutions on buying and selling art across the 20th and 21st centuries. Recent successes have included superb results for artists as diverse as Kerry James Marshall, Clyfford Still, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

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