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Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates: Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005 (Taschen Basic Art Series) [Paperback]

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Item description for Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates: Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005 (Taschen Basic Art Series) by Jonathan Henery Christo...

In February 2005, Christo and Jeanne-Claude will complete a monumental work of art in New York City's Central Park. The project, first conceived in 1979, will feature 7500 16-foot-high vinyl gates lining the park's paths, from which will hang saffron-colored fabric panels. Seen from the buildings surrounding the park, The Gates will look like a golden, flowing river, while those walking through them will experience the ambience of a fluid, golden ceiling. The temporary work of art will remain in place for 16 days, after which it will be disassembled and the materials recycled. The installation will be free for all visitors, who can continue to use Central Park undisturbed during the whole process. This historic event is intended to provide a memorable and joyous experience for every New Yorker, and TASCHEN will document this project from start to finish in two editions.

Famous for massive public art projects, including "Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet" in Australia and "Running Fence" in Northern California, Christo Javacheff and his wife Jeanne-Claude were used to dealing with intransigent bureaucracies. But they hadn't reckoned with New York City. The couple's 1979 project--temporarily placing thousands of saffron-colored banners across the walkways of 843-acre Central Park--did not receive the city's blessing until 2003. Published in advance of the 16-day installation in February 2005, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates is a picture book that moves briskly from photographs of early presentations and hearings to numerous shots of workers assembling the steel, aluminum, vinyl and rip-stop nylon components of the piece.

Scattered throughout are many of Christo's vibrant color sketches of "The Gates," which were conceived to create a "golden river" suggestive of autumn foliage when viewed from neighboring buildings and a "golden ceiling" for walkers and joggers in the park. The banners billow in the breeze, like sheets on a clothesline. While the early drawings show long banners hung from spindly black frames driven into the earth, the final design had to be modified so that it wouldn't touch low-hanging tree branches or poke holes in the ground. In the final version, 16-foot banners hang from sturdy aluminum bases covered in orange vinyl and placed at 12-foot intervals along 23 miles of walkways. The most recent drawings are especially radiant, showing the orange banners against a wintry setting of leafless trees. However, the decision to install "The Gates" in February---typically a dead time for tourism in the city---was likely driven by more than artistic effect. Taschen plans to publish a second edition of this book, with an additional 32 pages showing the final installation of "The Gates." Perhaps the publisher will also add much-needed artistic and socio-political context about the development of this project and how it compares with the artists' other work. --Cathy Curtis

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Item Specifications...

Pages   95
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.4" Width: 9.1" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   1.2 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 15, 2005
Publisher   Taschen
ISBN  382282805X  
ISBN13  9783822828052  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > ( A-C ) > Christo
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Photography > Photographers, A-Z > General
5Books > Subjects > History > Americas > United States > State & Local - By State > New York

Reviews - What do customers think about Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates: Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005 (Taschen Basic Art Series)?

I wish I went..........  Apr 14, 2008
I was mad at myself for not going to New York to see this exhibit.
This book helped me to be there.
I promised myself not to miss the next exhibit.
When you think about how they go about putting together an exhibit, Christo & Jeanne-Claude are phenomenal!
This book will show you that.
Suitable for Framing  Oct 25, 2005
Excellent collection of images of his most interesting completed works; Valley Curtain, Surrounded Islands, Running Fence, Umbrellas and the Gates. Also, some images from the upcoming Over the River project. Images are printed full size on large heavy stock and are suitable for framing. A brief project description is on the back of each sheet. Strongly recommended for any fan of Christo's work.
The Gates of Heaven  Jun 23, 2005
The images in this book are all that remain of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Central Park outdoor art exhibit, The Gates, a massive, stunning and unforgettable project that was dismantled forever on Sunday, February 27, 2005, after a two-week run. This photographic chronicle is interspersed with prototype drawings and designs as well as reflections of the artists as they brought their project to life. Through "The Gates'" the couple created an artistic representation of two of our oldest cultural and religious totems: the myth of Hades and Persephone and that of Moses and the Burning Bush.

The photos of a snow-covered Central Park in February with the naked, brown-grey trees - which lack depth but somehow yield shadows - reminded me of Hades; the orange gates reminded me of Persephone and her fateful pomegranates. Winter will yield to spring which will eventually yield right back to winter. Other photographs bring to mind the Biblical story of Moses with the orange gates looking like bushes blazing cross Central Park.

The story of rebirth and redemption is expressed in literature and was exquisitively expressed in this outdoor art. Both stories, and about 4 million others based on crowd attendance figures, were told across Central Park for 16 short, sweet days. If you didn't have the personal experience, at least have the faithfully recorded one. And definitely plan on seeing their next art installation, Over The River, Project For Arkansas River, Colorado, (date tba) in person. You won't forget it or regret it.

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