The artistic works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude have inspired millions. The textile wrapping projects which the two of them have been carrying out for years are firmly lodged in our minds as strong visual experiences.
Anyone who was fortunate enough to have experienced them live will scarcely ever forget them. Whether the wrapped Reichstag in Berlin, the fluttering flags in New York’s Central Park, or the orange-coloured floating piers in Northern Italy.
Christo, then 81 years old, finished the major Floating Piers project in summer 2016 on Lago d’Iseo alone; his wife had died in 2009. Various textile firms, who are also exhibitors at Heimtextil, were involved in this large-scale operation. Thus the polyamide yarn for the fabric was spun by PHP Fibres of Wuppertal, a subsidiary of Indorama Ventures of Thailand, which also owns Trevira. The colours for the yarn were provided by the textile-finishing firm of Wylach Brothers, also located in Wuppertal. And the 100,000 square metres were woven by Setex Textil in Greven, which had already supplied the material for the Reichstag wrapping. Cutting and assembly was carried out by the firm of Geo – Die Luftwerker, of Lübeck.
Around 1.3 million visitors travelled then to Lago d’Iseo, just to walk out a bit over the water on the magically shimmering, textile-covered jetties. The unexpectedly large press of people caused some chaos at times and completely overfilled the region. The large-scale installation, composed of 220,000 floating cubes, almost threatened to capsize.
After the piers were dismantled, the fabric went for recycling to Altex, a recycling firm in Gronau. For Christo was committed not only to his art, but to ensuring that tonnes of rubbish should not be produced.
On 31 May this year the artist died in New York at the age of 84. The textile wrapping projects of Christo and Jean-Claude, who financed all their installations completely themselves, have long found their place in the history of art.
Picture: Béa Beste / Pixabay