The impact of Christo on the development of Australian art

Sasha Grishin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Christo [Vladimirov Javacheff] and Jeanne-Claude [Marie Denat] came to Australia in 1968 and with their site-specific installation had a profound impact on the development of conceptual art in Australia. Christo was born in Gabrovo in 1935 and was a graduate of the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia. His partner in art and life, the Frenchborn artist, Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009), met Christo in Paris in 1958 and together they became two of the most influential artists involved in conceptual art on the world stage. A peculiarity of their work was the wrapping of objects leading to a transformation in their physical and conceptual existence. Their project in Australia was immense in scale, raised many significant conceptual questions and involved a large number of Australian collaborators for whom this was a defining moment in their development as artists. Christo and Jeanne-Claudes project was titled Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia and was held over two months in 1968-69. It involved the spread of 1,000,000 square feet (92,900 square meters) of erosion control fabric with 35 miles (56.3 kilometres) of rope, with a total length of 2.4 kilometres and a height of 26 meters which completely transformed a scenic stretch of the Australian coastline. This was a controversial event which divided the Australian art community and in retrospect has been viewed as a transformational moment in the development of Australian art. This paper examines the significance of the event from the perspective of almost fifty years.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)167-171
    JournalIzkustvovedski Cheteniya 2014
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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