London’s Saatchi Gallery celebrates the vision and legacy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude

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London’s Saatchi Gallery is home to two new exciting winter exhibitions. One is dedicated to an artistic duo who have made a mark on a grand scale, while the other is a celebration of female sculptors.

Boundless

Boundless is a retrospective, tracing the creativity of late, life partners and artistic collaborators Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Among their works, they wrapped landmarks in fabric, including Germany’s Reichstag.

“Christo himself couldn’t really tell what drove him to start to wrap, but at some point, he started to wrap small objects and it became bigger and bigger,” said Matthias Koddenberg from the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation.

Matthias Koddenberg, Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

“Then he left the gallery space and museum space and went outside doing projects in the landscape and the city for people to be confronted with art.”

In 2021, the 50-metre-high Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, was wrapped – a dream of Christo and Jeanne-Claude since renting a nearby apartment in the 1960s. Neither of them lived to see this. But their photographer, Wolfgang Volz, did.

“I wish they had the chance that they were there on the day of the unveiling because I’m sure they would have appreciated it very much,” he told Cult.

Wolfgang Volz, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Photographer admires a picture of the 50-metre-high Arc de Triomphe in Paris when it was wrapped in 2021

The couple’s legacy continues to live on. The Mastaba is another of their artistic visions, that could still be realised.

The Mastaba first originated as an idea back in the 1970s,” explained Lily Waterton, a senior programming executive at Saatchi Gallery. “The idea is to be a big pyramid constructed of stacked oil barrels. Christo had a dream that it was going to be bigger than the pyramids of Giza.”

The Mastaba exhibit first originated as an idea back in the 1970s. The idea is to be a big pyramid constructed of stacked oil barrels

If Not Now, When?

The Saatchi Gallery’s other Winter exhibition showcases the works of almost 30 female sculptors. If Not Now, When? explores the theme of time.

The urgency around big issues such as climate change and natural resources is explored. This exhibit comes from UK artist Deborah Duffin.

“She’s particularly focusing on electrical components,” revealed Anna Frances Douglas, the exhibition co-curator. “The resources that are really being mined around the world to produce our IT gadgets are just actually incomprehensible and draws attention really to, with the lightness of her work, the sort of fragility of these resources.”

Anna Frances Douglas, Exhibition Co-Curator

If Not Now, When? and Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Boundless, run at London’s Saatchi Gallery until 22 January.

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