Christo's Bridge Between Idea and Reality
Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project for Paris) Highlights Post-War & Contemporary Art Sale

A large preparatory drawing for one of the most famous projects by the contemporary artist Christo, The Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project For Paris), in two parts (1979), will highlight Bonhams Post-War & Contemporary Art Sale on 12 March in London. It has an estimate of £120,000-180,000.

In 1985, Christo, alongside his wife and collaborator Jeanne Claude, wrapped the Pont-Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris, in 450,000 square feet of woven polyamide fabric. Nine years in the planning, the fabric was restrained by 8 miles of rope and secured by 12.1 tons of steel chains encircling the base of each tower, 3.3 feet underwater. Silky in appearance and golden sandstone in colour to reflect the Parisian sunset, the fabric installation, which included the wrapping of 44 lampposts and both public pavements, was maintained by 600 monitors in crews of 40, working around the clock for the length of the project. The installation remained in place for 14 days and was seen my more than 3 million people.

The artist's vision for the project was initially conceived in 1975, ten years before it came to fruition. The preparatory sketches, used to plan and illustrate the proposed project, were initially sold to fund the realization of Christo's ambitious installations.

Ralph Taylor, Global Head of Bonhams Post-War and Contemporary Art department, commented: "This significant large-scale artist's vision reveals the ambition and intensive planning behind Christo's landmark Pont-Neuf installation. Not only is it an important document of such a monumental temporary project, it is a strikingly impressive work in and of itself. With the upcoming Centre Pompidou exhibition dedicated to Christo and Jeanne Claude's Paris period set to focus on the Pont-Neuf project, and with Christo's wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe set for this autumn, this is a particularly exciting time for this work to come to the market".

Another large preparatory sketch for a later Christo project, The Umbrellas (Joint project for Japan and USA), in two parts (1990), will also feature in the sale, with an estimate of £50,000-70,000.

CHRISTO AND JEANNE CLAUDE: Paris! will run at the Centre Pompidou from March 18 to June 15, 2020. L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped will last for 16 days from September 19 to October 4, 2020.

Other highlights of the sale include:

• Concetto Spaziale, Natura 1959-1960, by Lucio Fontana. Estimate: £350,000- 550,000.
• Dog 1986, by Keith Haring. Estimate: £200,000- 300,000.
• Sefiroth 2002, by Anselm Kiefer. Estimate: £100,000-150,000.
• Crocifisso 1948-50, by Lucio Fontana. Estimate: £80,000-120,000.

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