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Christo, Project for Berlin: Wrapped Reichstag, 1994
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Project for Berlin: Wrapped Reichstag, 1994
15 3/4 × 11 3/4 in
40 × 29.8 cm
This limited edition hand signed mixed media collage features the raised silver thermal paper/fabric used to wrap the Reichstag on offset lithograph. It was created in 1994 to raise funds for Christo's iconic Wrapped Reichstag project (1986–1994). Although this particular work is unnumbered, it was said to have been published in an edition of about 100. The project to wrap the German Parliament building was conceived by Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude in the early 1970s, but was not realized until the 1990s. The structure was wrapped in polypropylene fabric, with 17,060 yards of bright blue rope holding it tight against the 220 tons of steel structure to which the wrapping was attached. A New York Times feature on the project described it as follows: "Wrapped Reichstag, by Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude, is at once a work of art, a cultural event, a political happening and an ambitious piece of business. It has got Berlin into more of a celebratory mood than anything since the fall of the wall .... and as the immense project of wrapping the 101-year-old German Parliament building in more than a million square feet of aluminum-colored fabric nears its completion, crowds gather day and night to gawk, to cheer as sections of cloth are unfurled, and to watch for glimpses of the New York artist couple who are treated here like rock stars." Paul Goldberger, who wrote the Times feature, describes the cultural, as well as aesthetic impact of wrapping the Reichstag at that moment in history. "This immense stone hulk, a heavy, bombastic building that epitomizes German excesses of the late 19th century, is rendered light, almost delicate. It takes on an ethereal beauty, and looks as if it could float away into the silvery, cloudy Berlin sky." Decades later, Christo, would reflect on the fact that the New York Times dispatched their architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, to review the project - instead of their esteemed art reviewer, because in those years, Christo's work was not considered art, and perhaps they didn't know quite what it was!