Home Magazine L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped: a testament to Christo and Jeanne Claude

Unveiling the latest veiled posthumous project by Land art superstars Christo and Jeanne Claude.

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L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped revealed itself to the public on September 18, and will be on view until October 3. The massive installation, spanning 25,000 square meters of recyclable polypropylene fabric in silvery blue and 3,000 meters of red rope, is the latest posthumous project launched by the Estate of Christo V. Javacheff.

The installation is brought to light 60 years since its initial conception and is a testament to Environmental art and the duo’s stylistic cipher, spectacular and minimalistic in its interpretation.


L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Courtesy © Jad Sylla Photography
L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Courtesy of © Jad Sylla Photography


The paquetages were initially conceptualised in 1961, debuting in several shows where everyday items were wrapped and showcased. Deprived of their function, the objects acquired a radical meaning that explored their constantly changing physicality, rather than the inherent meaning carried. From smaller objects to the greater and more complex installations, the artists’ work became intertwined with the environment and the ways in which observers could witness and take in the surrounding space interacting with the installations.

As the site-specific works became larger and more complex, the projects incurred several execution problems and would take a long span of time before permissions were granted and the first wrapped public buildings could take place. The first public building to receive permission was the Kunsthall in Bern, wrapped by Christo and Jeanne-Claude was the Kunsthalle in 1967-68.


Christo in his studio working on a preparatory drawing for L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped. Courtesy of Anastas Petkov © and Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation, New York City, 2019


Interestingly, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped was the first public building that was conceptualised to be wrapped by Christo and Jean-Claude, following several projects and sketches that begin in 1962. Spanning 60 years, the project took many different turns and was illustrated in sketches and models that would one day translate in the installation. However, the artists encountered resistance from institutions and governments before the projects could be executed. Now, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is the latest posthumous site-specific installation in a series of wrapped buildings and projects that the Estate of Christo V. Javacheff will keep funding.


Christo, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris) Place de l'Etoile – Charles de Gaulle, Drawing 2019 in two parts. Courtesy of André Grossmann and Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation.


L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped will be on view in Paris from September 18 until October 3, 2021.


Discover all the available works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude on Kooness.com


Cover image: Christo, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped (Project for Paris) Place de l'Etoile – Charles de Gaulle, (2019). Courtesy of André Grossmann and Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation.

Written by Darya Shojai Kaveh


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