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Christo : 1935 – 2020

He loved to pack his world. The artist of Bulgarian origin Christo died on Sunday May 31, at the age of 84 years. Inventor of the “interlining of space”, the artist was notably known for his monumental achievements consisting of packaging the greatest works of this world, from the Pont-neuf Parisien to the Reichstag in Berlin. Back on the work and the life of a great child of art.

Born Christo Vladimirov Javacheff, in Bulgaria, it was in New York, his adopted city, that he fell asleep. With great ambitions and a sense of excess, the artist, always accompanied by his wife Jeanne-Claude, never ceased to imagine projects with assumed excess. If a large number could not see the light of day, 23 works have embellished our planet over the decades. His latest project? The packaging of the Arc de Triomphe, an idea dating from 1962, which was to be done in April. But the Covid-19, having been right about logistical issues, delayed the inauguration of this giant gift made to the city of Paris.

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Hot news since, if the project will be maintained posthumously in September, the artist must also be the subject of a major retrospective at the Center Pompidou from July 1. An exhibition project that did not delight Christo, who entrusted our colleagues from the World in March “I don't like retrospectives, I always like to do new things. The retrospectives will be for when I'm dead! ". Now gone, Christo continues to do what he loves so much: setting up a project thought 60 years ago, innovating and entertaining art lovers who will come to discover the Parisian period of the plastic artist in Beaubourg.

If the artist marked the art world during his lifetime, there is no doubt that he leaves behind a legacy of remarkable public works, halfway between monumental architecture and in situ installation. Redefining the perimeters of art, Christo defines himself as not being "Neither painter, nor sculptor, nor architect".

But probably a little all at once.

Photographs: DR

Zoe Térouinard

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