Christo and Jeanne-Claudeare environmental sculptors noted for their controversial outdoor sculptures that often involved monumental displays of fabrics and plastics.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s huge, usually outdoor sculptures were temporary and involved hundreds of assistants in their construction. Seen by all manner of passersby, including those who would not necessarily visit museums, these works forced observers to confront questions regarding the nature of art and to reconsider a particular space. As the scope of the projects widened, increased time was needed for planning and construction phases, the securing of permits, and environmental impact research—a process that could take decades.
Most installations were documented in print and on film, and the materials that created them were sold or given away after the projects were dismantled. Some projects encountered fierce opposition and years of litigation before they could be executed. Over the River, a proposal to suspend a silver canopy over 42 miles (68 km) of the Arkansas River, spent years in state and federal courts before Christo called off the project in 2017 to protest Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.