Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond

by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude create singular, ephemeral works of art at venues... read more

Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude create singular, ephemeral works of art at venues that vary from the wilds of nature to the brick and mortar of buildings, but almost always allow for art of incredible scale: a 1,500-foot orange curtain spanning a Colorado valley; pink polypropylene fabric surrounding eleven islands off the coast of Florida; an aluminum-coated wrap around the imposing Reichstag in Berlin. Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan introduce readers to this unique duo of artists and their works. “It has no purpose. It is not a symbol. It is not a message,” Jeanne-Claude said about “The Gates,” their extraordinary project that featured 7,500 “shimmering saffron panels” unfurled throughout New York’s Central Park. Respecting their subjects’ philosophy, Greenberg and Jordan focus on the process the artists use in creating their fleeting projects—a process that comprises grand artistic vision and meticulous design and engineering, as well as a lot of red tape to navigate in the various locales they have chosen as canvas. A book that opens the door to conversations about art, audience, artist, and also emphasizes Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s commitment to sustainability, which includes using recycled and recyclable materials and making sure their canvas—landscape, building, etc.—is left unmarred. (Age 10 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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