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Christo Lectures At MCASD To Open Exhibit

Above: "The Gates" in New York City's Central Park by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

Christo , Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Reichstag (Project for Berlin), 1991 pencil, fabric, pastel, charcoal, twine, wax crayon and map, collage in two parts. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Gift of David C. Copley Foundation. ©CHRISTO 1991. Photo: André

The artist Christo is probably best known in the US for The Gates, an artwork installed temporarily in New York’s Central Park back in 2005. More than 7,500 panels of saffron-colored fabric were hung along 23 miles of the park’s pathways.

Christo continues to work on large scale projects. He’s in San Diego this weekend for an exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego titled "XTO+J-C: Christo and Jeanne-Claude Featuring Works from the Bequest of David C. Copley."

David Copley, former owner of the U-T who died in 2012, had the largest collection of Christo works in the United States. Most of that collection is in the museum’s exhibit.

The exhibit shows the drawings and collages Christo makes in preparation for the large environmental works he does all over the world. He and his late wife Jeanne-Claude wrapped an entire building in Germany in fabric. They did the same to the oldest bridge in Paris. Those installations take years, they are temporary, and they cost millions of dollars. Christo says it’s all done to simply create a beautiful artwork.

"They are not works about something else, they are only about works of art," said the Bulgarian-born artist, now 78. "They are so absurd, so irrational, so free. Nobody can own them. Nobody can buy them. Nobody can buy tickets. Nobody can do anything."

Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always financed their environmental works through the sale of Christo’s drawings and studies.

Next week, we will have an in-depth, interactive feature about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work.

Christo will give a lecture about his work on Saturday night. The exhibit opens on Sunday and runs through April 6.

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