Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Early Years: An Interview by Matthias Koddenberg by Matthias Koddenberg
In the autumn of 2020, Christo will wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in silvery fabric for 16 days, returning to his signature style - after realising The Floating Piers in Italy, the London Mastaba, and a quarter of a century after he and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the Reichstag building in Berlin. As a prelude, a major exhibition at PalaisPopulaire in the German capital will celebrate this 25-year anniversary in the spring of 2020. At the same time, the Pompidou Center will pay tribute to Christo and Jeanne-Claude by staging The Pont Neuf Wrapped Documentary exhibition as well as a comprehensive show highlighting their early years in Paris. To accompany these events, Matthias Koddenberg, art historian and long-time friend of both Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, who was the other half of the artistic duo until her death in 2009, has edited an elaborate collection of interviews. The book is composed of many conversations held between Koddenberg and Christo in the artist's New York studio over the last few years. With rare frankness, Christo describes how he fled from Bulgaria and made his way into the Western world. He talks about his time in Vienna and Geneva, his vibrant life in Paris that was full of hardship, and the fateful moment when he met Jeanne-Claude. This publication provides an exceptional inside view, uniting texts and numerous archival images and photographs, many of which have never been published before, or depict early works by Christo that have only recently been rediscovered.