The artist known as Christo, who made his name transforming landmarks such as Germany’s Reichstag by covering them with reams of cloth, died on Sunday aged 84, his official Facebook page announced.
Christo Vladimirov Javacheff died of natural causes at his home in New York City, the statement said.
The Bulgarian-born artist worked in collaboration with his wife of 51 years Jeanne-Claude until her death in 2009.
Their large-scale productions would take years of preparation and were costly to erect; but they were mostly ephemeral, coming down after just weeks or months.
“Christo lived his life to the fullest, not only dreaming up what seemed impossible but realising it,” said a statement from his office.
“Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s artwork brought people together in shared experiences across the globe, and their work lives on in our hearts and memories.”
In accordance with Christo’s wishes, the statement added, a work in progress, “l’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped”, would be completed. The event is on schedule to be shown from September 18 in 2021.
Born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, Christo left his home country in 1957, living in several countries before arriving in Paris, where he met his future wife.
Next year’s work in Paris will be accompanied by an exhibition at the city’s Pompidou Centre about their time in the city. That show is due to start in July this year, running through until the end of October 2021.
As well as the German Reichstag, another of their major projects was wrapping the Pont Neuf, Paris’s oldest bridge, in 1985.
Sunday’s statement from Christo’s office concluded: “In a 1958 letter Christo wrote, ‘Beauty, science and art will always triumph’. We hold those words closely today.”
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