The Prinzhorn Prize Exhibition for Christo and Jeanne-Claude
As a creative community, Detroit is both vibrant and fertile. New galleries breed excitement here. As CCS Professor of Fine Art Gilda Snowden exclaimed as she pushed into the packed inaugural show at The Butchers Daughter “Detroit is rockin’, we open galleries when other places close galleries.” Re:View Contemporary has become an important contributor this year. And at another new gallery in the Russell Industrial Center org contemporary, Chris Samuels, Ian Swanson and Lindsey Yeo are inspired because The Museum of New Art (MONA) is becoming a neighbor.
The Museum of New Art has become a medium of expression for Artist, Director, Curator Jef Bourgeau and that has helped to make Detroit a vigorous and growing arts community. It is always a delight when the spirit of MONA transcends the walls of it’s Pontiac galleries. On December 11 MONA will present its exhibition for internationally renowned artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude at the museum’s new Detroit annex, in conjunction with the artists being awarded the Prinzhorn Prize for Lifetime Achievement.
Forty signed reproduction posters of drawings, collages and photographs will offer a Detroit audience the chance
to see the artistic process behind many of the monumental public art projects undertaken by Christo and Jeanne-Claude during the past five decades, and a glimpse at those to come.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude have transcended the traditional boundaries of painting, drawing, sculpture and architecture. This exhibition represents the wide variety of media used by the artists and explores the breadth of their work.
The exhibition includes signed reproductions of drawings, collages and photographs for most of the artists’ monumental projects, including The Umbrellas, Japan—U.S.A., 1984-91, The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85, Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980-83, and Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76, and those in progress, including Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, and the Mastaba Project for the United Arab Emirates.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s installation projects require years of planning. The considerable activity which precedes the installation of a piece is as much a part of the work as the actual installations. Zoning board hearings, public forums, parliamentary debates, legal negotiations, preparatory drawings and collages are part of the process.
This is why each particular progression of activities is referred to as a “project” and the dates for each start with the inception of the idea and end with the completion of the piece.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were both born on June 13, 1935, he as Christo Javacheff in Bulgaria and she as Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon in Morocco of a French military family. Christo studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria from 1953 to 1956. In 1957, he escaped Prague, eventually making his way to Paris. There Christo met Jeanne-Claude in 1958 when he was commissioned to paint a portrait of her mother. Jeanne-Claude was educated in France and Switzerland, and earned degrees in philosophy and Latin from the University of Tunis. Since that time, they have collaborated on an impressive array of artistic work.
This celebratory exhibition was organized by the Museum of New Art (MONA) with special thanks to Christo and Jeanne-Claude for their generous donation of the forty signed reproductions of prints, collages and photographs.
All 40 signed images are for sale, and have been donated by the artists to help fund future MONA projects. (Pricing has been set reasonably low by the artists themselves, starting at $300.)
Part I: Friday, December 11
from 6-10pm – Opening Reception
The Russell Industrial Center
1600 Clay Street
Detroit – Bldg. 2, 3rd Floor
Part II: Saturday, December 12 from 1-5pm
7 North Saginaw Street
Pontiac, Michigan 48307
On View: December 11 – January 16, 2010
Opening Reception: Friday, December 11 from 6 to 10pm at the Detroit MONA,
At The Russell Industrial Center
Regular Hours: Thursday to Saturday from 1-5 pm in Pontiac.