Christo

Bulgaria and USA, b1935
Christo Javacheff (Christo) is known, with his life and work partner Jeanne-Claude (1935–2009), for ‘wrapping’ public monuments, buildings and features of the landscape as well as his own projects wrapping smaller objects. He began this technique – which recalls drapery from classical sculpture and painting – in the late 1950s. Whether small or almost unimaginably large, these everyday pieces of the world when veiled become unfamiliar, mysterious, magical.

Packed Coast, One Million Square Feet, Project for Australia 1969

In 1969, Christo and Jeanne-Claude directed a team of mountain climbers, workers and volunteers in wrapping 2.5 kilometres of Sydney coastline with more than 90 000 square metres of fabric. It was not only the first Kaldor Public Art Project but one of the most important early environmental or land art works anywhere in the world and the largest single artwork that had ever been made – although it was initially conceived to be even bigger. This maquette was designed to give an impression of what the project would look like.

View Packed Coast in the collection

Two Wrapped Trees 1969

When Christo and Jeanne-Claude came to Sydney to wrap Little Bay in the first Kaldor Public Art Project, Christo also wrapped two gum trees. He offered one to the Art Gallery of NSW and one to John Kaldor as gifts, intending them to be displayed together. At the time, the Gallery’s trustees turned down the offer, and both trees remained with Kaldor. Now, they have finally found a home in the Gallery as part of the John Kaldor Family Collection.

View Two Wrapped Trees in the collection

Operation Wrap-Up: Christo in Australia

From ABC Arts Online, an archival documentary of Christo’s and Kaldor’s collaboration on Wrapped Coast.