(Art)Book we love | Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Floating Piers

This #artbookfriday is all about the art event of this season – Christo’s Floating Piers. The whole art world refuses to talk about anything else this summer as it seems.

For 16 days – June 18 through July 3, 2016 – Italy’s Lake Iseo is a stage for an enormous project. 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, will undulate with the movement of the waves as The Floating Piers rise just above the surface of the water.

Visitors will experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which it encircles. A 3-kilometer-long walkway will be created as The Floating Piers extend across the water of Lake Iseo. The piers will be 16 meters wide and approximately 35 centimeters high with sloping sides. The fabric will continue along 1.5 kilometers of pedestrian streets in Sulzano and Peschiera Maraglio as well.

It’s a classic Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The artist and his wife (dies in 2009) are famous for their large-scale projects all around the world. You might remember Wrapped Coast, Australia, 1968–69 or Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971–95. It’s pretty amazing what they’ve done with fabrics and it’s just a logical conclusion to wrap up part of a lake to let people walk over water. Working in the art world sometimes gives you the feeling of being part of a strange religion so why not walk over water now 😉 I like it nonetheless.

By the way The Floating Piers will be funded entirely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art. After the 16-day exhibition, all components will be removed and recycled.

But I don’t want to spoil you with too much information about the whole project itself because our great contributing author Ann-Katrin will be there in the next days and tell you all about it when she’s back!

Today is about the project’s book. Of course there is a book! The gigantic installation will be gone in just two weeks like Christo’s interventions always do. What remains is the great story of it.

So I am very happy the publishing house Taschen gave me an exclusive preview of the book to write about it. It will be in stores next week so you don’t have to wait long at all. It’s a nice softcover with flaps for the great deal of just 20€, written by Christo’s office manager Jonathan William Henery who worked with the artist since 1996 and is also the son of Jeanna-Claude’s sister. The photographs are all by Wolfgang Volz, Christo’s personal photographers who does this job since 1971.

The book gathers sketches, models, photographs, documents, and designs to reveal the complete process behind this waterborne work of art. Incorporating everything from approval procedures to the manufacture of fabric and anchoring elements, it testifies not only to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s unique creative imagination but also to the immense technical, bureaucratic, and logistical feats that allowed the concept to take float.

My favorites are all the sketches of Christo. They’re amazing! I would love to have one of the original ones. And it’s also really cool to see how it all began and happened. It’s a must-read for all fans of art and architecture. It’s probably sold out in seconds, too.

If you can’t make it to Milan until July, 3 check out the recent exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Waterworks at Museo di Santa Giulia in Brescia It will be on display until September 18, 2016..

The Book






#artbook | Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Floating Piers

#author | Wolfgang Volz, Jonathan William Henery

#language | English, Italian

#publishing house | Taschen

#ISBN | 978-3-8365-4786-4

#pages | 96

#published | 2016

you can get your copy here.


Cover image: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy 2014-2106, Photo: Wolfgang Volz

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