Coming up we have our Modern and Contemporary Art auction on Wednesday 19 October. The auction includes a strong selection of paintings, sculpture and works on paper, dating from 1900 onwards. A particular highlight is Lot 185, Package by American/Bulgarian artist Christo. Here, Head of Sale, Jennie Fisher tells us more about the work.
Lot 185: λ Christo (American/Bulgarian 1935-2020), 'Package', Fabric, rope and wood | Est. £30,000-50,000 (+ fees)
Christo's first packaged objects date from 1958-60 with the project 'Inventaire' which formed a large installation of unmodified, painted and packaged cans, bottles and boxes which filled an entire room. The present work, dating from 1963, is typical of the artist's early 'packaged' creations. These works challenge the viewer's perception and consideration of the object beyond its face value. Through its concealment, Christo not only creates a sense of mystery around the contents, leading us to question the nature what is being hidden, but also changes the function from everyday item to artwork.
Whilst these early experiments with covering and packaging were exploratory and less about what was being covered, they became the basis for everything that followed. As the practice developed, Christo became more interested in the actual object being covered, rather than just the pure sculptural form of the finished 'package'. The obsession with concealing objects, whether they be shoes, magazines, bicycles or buildings became the central theme of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work.
Christo in his seventh floor studio at 14, rue de Saint Sénoch, Paris, November 1961. Property of the Estate of Christo V. Javacheff. Image © Jean-Jacques Lévèque © 1961 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation
Born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria in 1935, Christo received his early arts training at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia between 1952 and 1956. By 1958, Christo had moved to Paris where he met and married his partner and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude. In 1964, year after the present work was created, the couple would relocate to New York which would become their home for the rest of their lives. From these early tentative forays in covering, their vision broadened to encompass some of the largest and most iconic landmarks throughout the world from the Reichstag in Berlin to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Their boundless energy sought to realise the seemingly impossible, stamping their mark in the collective memory and redefining what was possible in public art.
Package, 1963 has never been seen on the market before. It was a gift from the artist during one of his London trips, to renowned hoteliers and designers, Constantine and Anouska Hempel, the work has remained a part of Lady Weinberg's eclectic collection.
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Wednesday 19 October | 10.30am BST
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2JE
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- Viewing in London (Highlights only):
- Monday 10 & Tuesday 11 October: 10am-4pm
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- Sunday 16 October: 10am-3pm
- Monday 17 October: 10am-4pm
- Tuesday 18 October: 10am-4pm
- Wednesday 19 October: from 8.30am
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