The collection of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude will go up for sale at Sotheby’s Paris headquarters in February. The sale is estimated to fetch a collective $4 million.
The husband and wife duo was known principally for their practice of draping buildings, monuments, and various other public sites, which they called “wrappings.” Among their most famous large-scale installations is Valley Curtain (1974), in which the two suspended a miles-long curtain across a Colorado mountain roadway; it lasted just over a day but is regarded as an important project. The two also wrapped the Pont Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin.
The sale follows Christo’s death earlier this year in May at the age of 84. The Bulgarian artist’s last realized monumental sculpture was a massive floating structure formed from oil barrels that was set afloat in London’s Serpentine Lake in Hyde Part in 2018. Jeanne-Claude died at age 74 in 2009.
“Earlier this year, we lost one of the giants of contemporary art,” said Simon Shaw, Sotheby’s vice chairman of global fine arts, in a statement. “Together with his partner Jeanne-Claude, Christo changed the visual language of art in a way that no other artist has done before, transforming the public’s perspective and expectations of what art can be and how it can be experienced.”
Over several decades, the couple amassed a collection in excess of 400 items, many of which were displayed in their New York home, including pieces traded by postwar artists including Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Mimmo Rotella, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Marcel Duchamp, William N. Copley, and Nam June Paik.
Among the highlights to be offered are Andy Warhol’s Jackie (1964), estimated at $975,000; Gerrit Rietveld’s The Hoge armchair, which is expected to fetch $97,500; Yves’s Klein’s Blue Monochrome (IKB 19), from 1958, estimated at $375,00; and a Claes Oldenburg 1960s plaster food sculpture estimated at $49,000. Works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, including those from the 1960s “Package” and “Storefront” series, will also be represented in the sale.
Sotheby’s found success with the sale of another major contemporary artist’s personal collection this fall, when the house auctioned a portion of Keith Haring’s estate. Headlined by examples from Rammellzee, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Andy Warhol, the sale made a total of $4.6 million, more than three times its pre-sale high estimate of $1.4 million.