Telluride Gallery of Fine Art says good-bye to Jean-Claude

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art says good-bye to Jean-Claude

(Telluride Inside… and Out restating the point about Telluride being at the epicenter of the world map because the examples are so robust.)

Christo & Jean-Claude In May 2007, the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art held a show of the work of the world's first wrapper, the artist Christo, and his wife and partner-in-crime Jean-Claude, just two years after the couple famously created the Central Park installation known as ''The Gates." That project  involving thousands of saffron drapes was credited with injecting about $254 million into New York's economy. (Christo, how would you feel about wrapping Ajax today?)

Sadly, Jean-Claude died Wednesday, November 18, from complications of a brain aneurysm. For details, go to

Public buildings, iconic views (sections of a seacoast, part of a valley) and quotidian objects: Christo and Jean-Claude were equal opportunity obfuscators. And at the center of their work was a paradox: revealing by hiding. 

The second skin the couple applied to objects great and small was meant not so much as to hide what was as to open up our imaginations as to what might be. Their work was about the joy of seeing an old friend in a new light. And once objects elude familiar perceptions and uses, their function in life has to be reconsidered, stimulating a dialogue that became part of their art – and will remain part of Christo's art, as he goes it alone.  (The couple long ago promised to go on perpetuating a veiled reality should one predecease the other.)

The show at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art featured photographs, preparatory drawings, and lithographs of past and proposed projects. (Sales from such works, along with models, paid for the couple's projects. They never accepted sponsorships.)

"Hosting the show was a longtime gallery dream come true. We will continue to support Christo in his goal of realizing the Over The River Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado,'' said Gallery owner Will Thompson.

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