Christo and Jeanne-Claude.....

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, ‘The Umbrellas’ (1984-91). Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Consisting of 1,340 blue umbrellas in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan, and 1,760 yellow umbrellas in Southern California, USA, Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s vast site-specific artworks opened at sunrise on 9th October 1991.
Spreading through private landowner’s properties and spilling into government agency land in both continents, “The Umbrellas” spanned twelve miles in Ibaraki and eighteen miles in California.
The colours and the arrangement of the umbrellas reflected their immediate surroundings; in the Japanese valleys sodden with rice paddies they packed themselves into lush volcanic ravines; in the scorched Southern Californian gorges covered by blonde grass, they were sparsely scattered through the wilderness.
In the manner that all Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s ambitious projects amass, the artists financed this $26M temporary work through the sale of preparatory drawings and collages.
After eighteen days, “The Umbrellas” were dismantled, with each component recycled.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 'The Umbrellas' (Joint Project for Japan and USA). Drawing 1990 in two parts. Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, ‘The Umbrellas’. Joint Project for Japan and USA. Drawing in two parts (1990). Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 'The Umbrellas' (Joint Project for Japan and USA). Installation view. (1984-91) Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, ‘The Umbrellas’ (1984-91) Installation in Ibaraki. Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 'The Umbrellas' (Joint Project for Japan and USA). Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, ‘The Umbrellas’ (1984-91). Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 'The Umbrellas' (Joint Project for Japan and USA). Photo: Wolfgang Volz.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, ‘The Umbrellas’ (1984-91). Photo: Wolfgang Volz

Christo Vladimiro Javacheff was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria (1935)Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009) was born in Casablanca, Morocco. Both artists lived and worked in New York.
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©Nick West 2016