PalaisPopulaire reopens with the exhibition "Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Projects 1963-2020"
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PalaisPopulaire reopens with the exhibition "Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Projects 1963-2020"
Installation view.

BERLIN.- The PalaisPopulaire resumed its program with an exhibition devoted to what is probably the most popular artist couple in the world: Christo and Jeanne-Claude. A visit to Christo and Jeanne- Claude: Projects 1963–2020, which runs until August 17, 2020, is free of charge throughout the duration of the show. “So that as many people as possible can experience art in the original again during the challenging Corona period, admission will be free for everyone,” says Svenja von Reichenbach, director of PalaisPopulaire.

This special exhibition at the PalaisPopulaire documents all the spectacular projects of the two artists from the early 1960s to the present day. The works featured in Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Projects 1963–2020 come from the collection of Ingrid and Thomas Jochheim, who have known Christo and Jeanne- Claude since 1994. The couple from Recklinghausen is one of the few collectors and supporters worldwide whose objects and unique pieces cover all projects from 1963 to the present.

The exhibition was curated by Friedhelm Hütte, who is responsible for Deutsche Bank’s worldwide art activities. It begins with objects from the early 1960s and with designs for the Store Fronts, replicated fronts of shops covered with cloth, with which Christo conquered the New York art scene in 1965. They are followed by famous Land Art projects including Wrapped Coast (1968–1969), in which a 2.4-kilometer-long stretch of coast near Sydney was covered with 92,900 square meters of fabric, and Running Fence (1972–1976).

The wrapping of the Berlin Reichstag in the summer of 1995 is one of the most ambitious works in the exhibition. This project, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2020, connects the artistic duo with the German capital in a very special way. As is often the case with Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects, the preparations for the Reichstag project took decades and triggered political debates. Just a few years after reunification, the veiling of the historic building hit the nerve of the time, and over five million visitors from all over the world came to see it. Wrapped Reichstag, like all the other temporary actions by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, was financed exclusively from the sale of original drawings and editions.

The exhibition also includes the Surrounded Islands, which Christo and Jeanne- Claude lined with pink polypropylene fabric off the coast of Miami in the early 1980s, The Umbrellas (1984–1991), and Christo’s most recent project, The Floating Piers (2014–2016), which he realized on Lago d’Iseo in Italy. And, of course, in addition to designs for Wrapped Reichstag—including two works from the bank’s collection—works on all the wrappings of buildings and places steeped in history can be seen, including The Pont Neuf Wrapped (1975–1985) and The Gates in New York’s Central Park (1979–2005).

“The 14 or 16 days in which the work is accessible to the public is not the period in which the work exists,” said Christo. “A great deal of energy is released during the realization of a project—you can feel the enormous dynamism when you stand in front of something that has taken so many years to develop.” The exhibition makes this energy tangible. It ends with designs for the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, which Christo and Jeanne-Claude have been working on for 58 years and which is planned for the fall 2021.

The exhibition at the PalaisPopulaire is accompanied by a catalogue with contributions by Matthias Koddenberg and Friedhelm Hütte and an interview by Ingrid and Thomas Jochheim (Kerber Verlag, brochure, English/German, 168 pages, 63 illustrations in color and black and white, ISBN 978-3-7356-0649-5, € 29).

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