Triumph for the Christo and Jeanne-Claude collection

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Triumph for the Christo and Jeanne-Claude collection

Sotheby's Auction

Sales of the Christo and Jeanne-Claude collections set a world record. While previous high estimates had put the total at between 2.8 and 4.2 million euros, sales more than doubled this high estimate. In fact, sales totalled 9.2 million euros, with all of the works on offer sold.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are an artist couple, famous for their large-scale and ephemeral projects. The beauty of their art consisted in creating impressive works, fragile due to their particularly short lives. They sought to make the present moment precious. Of these artists only their sketches and the works they accumulated in their collection remain.

The couple's works seduce buyers

First of all, the sales were made up of their works and writings. Indeed, the studies of The Umbrellas project, are sold at impressive prices. This project consisted of the opening of hundreds of umbrellas on the American West Coast and in Japan. The Californian part with the yellow umbrellas was sold for 1.7 million euros, while the Japanese blue umbrellas were sold for 1.2 million euros. They far exceed the estimates made earlier, which were between €200,000 and €300,000. The preparatory drawings for the "Package" work, namely the emblematic packaging of the Pont Neuf, tripled their high estimate of 150,000 euros. The auction company Sotheby's points out that the drawings for The Gates, a project consisting of placing over 7,000 doors in Central Park, had previously been sold to an American buyer.

Their personal collection, steeped in history

Beyond their work, the collection was made up of works that the artist couple had acquired or received as gifts, so the symbolism was very strong. The Hoge armchair by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld sold for 214,200 euros and was a gift to the couple from designer Martin Visser. The artist Lucio Fontana had also offered Jeanne-Claude a work of his choice, this was Concetto Spaziale, Attesa, which was sold at auction for 920,000 euros. In addition, the blue monochrome, donated by Yves Klein, doubled its high estimate at the sale, reaching 436,000 euros.

In addition to these sales, a world record was achieved for William Copley, a close acquaintance of the Christos, whose work The Fan of Lady Windermere had been exchanged with another from their collection. The amount raised by this sale was 252,000 euros.