Christo (American, born 1935) Over the River (project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado) 2006

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Lot 9
Christo
(American, born 1935)
Over the River (project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
2006

Sold for £ 25,000 (US$ 33,357) inc. premium
Christo (American, born 1935)
Over the River (project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado)
2006

signed and dated 2006; signed and dated 2006 on the reverse
enamel paint, wax crayon, pencil, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, fabric sample and topographic map on card laid on board, in a perspex frame

21.5 by 28 cm.
8 7/16 by 11 in.

Footnotes

  • The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the artist, this work is also accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

    This work will be included in the forthcoming Christo Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by Galerie Daniel Varenne, Geneva, under no. 10023.

    Provenance
    Galleria L'Elefante, Treviso
    Private Collection, Italy
    Sale: Casa d'Aste Meeting Art S.p.A., Vercelli, Opere dell'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, 12 April 2008, Lot 353
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner



    Over the River (project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado) is one of Christo's most ambitious projects to date in terms of both its vision and scale. Originally conceived in 1992 the artist planned on suspending gigantic luminous silver fabric panels along the natural line of a river course. The contours of the Arkansas River between Canon City and Salida in the State of Colorado offered the perfect setting, with raised banks in which to anchor steel supporting cables as well as ample viewing opportunities from a parallel road running above. Just under six miles of fabric was allocated, segmented to allow for man-made and natural obstacles such the bridges and trees that interrupted the bank, and at a width to allow the interaction of light between its reflective surface and that of the moving water beneath, as well as the wide blue Colorado sky. The project, as with all of the artist's most significant installations, was to be funded entirely by the sale of unique original artworks, including the present work, which captures the drama of swiftly moving vessels propelled along the rapids under the gigantic arc of the blue-flushed canopy. This work is formed from paint, crayon and pencil applied to an original photograph flanked by a fabric sample and collaged topological map. The bijou scale of the object itself stands as a stark counterpoint to the epic installation adding a complexity to the relationship between study and project.

    Despite only ever intending for it to be a temporary installation, the project has suffered from its own unique series of setbacks as a result of some local opposition, resulting in a number of (failed) lawsuits and subsequent appeals against the federal, state and local bodies that issued the artists with the necessary permits to begin work. The future of this gigantic installation now rests on the outcome of these appeals, and it remains a work in progress.

    Christo's latest large scale project entitled The Floating Piers, is set to be unveiled in June of this year. Connecting the shores of opposing sides of Lake Iseo in Northern Italy by means of a 3km long floating walkway covered in bright yellow fabric, this temporary structure allows participants to reach the settlements scattered along the shorelines that were previously only accessible by boat. The surrounding mountains also offer the experience of a familiar view of the lake bisected and transformed by shimmering yellow ribbons, and like the present work plays with the dynamic and ethereal qualities of light and water.

    Christo's monumental site-specific artworks are now world-renowned, their scale defying their temporality, ephemeral and playful like the interaction of light and water and yet brought to life by the original studio works that remain a lasting legacy of their former presence. Over the River (project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado) is in itself a testament to an ambitious project that has now almost been 25 years in the making and yet still has the power to inspire and connect on a universal level.
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