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Christo, The Gates Subway Poster (hand signed by Christo), 2005



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The Gates Subway Poster (hand signed by Christo), 2005

Offset lithograph poster (uniquely hand signed on the front by Christo)

Hand signed by Christo on the front

11 × 69 1/2 inches

Few things are more quintessentially New York than the subway, and this poster, nearly 70 inches wide (almost six feet!) was one of the original advertisements published by the MTA (Manhattan Transit Authority) to be plastered across New York City trains to advertise Christo's and Jeanne Claude's iconic exhibition "The Gates". It was not long after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the city was still reeling, and tourists were reluctant to return to the city. Then the new art collecting mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, who, coincidentally, happened to be friends with the artists Christo and Jeanne Claude, revived a long dormant proposal to install Saffron gates throughout Central Park - a brilliant idea which drew millions of tourists to New York City and uplifted the mood of the city and the country.

The present poster was published by the MTA for Christo's exhibition "The Gates: Central Park, NYC" from February 12-27, 2005. The image is CHRISTO: THE GATES, PROJECT FOR CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK CITY.
Drawing 2002 In two parts: 15 × 96" and 42 × 96" (DETAIL)

We have never seen any of these anywhere in the world that is also hand signed by Christo, and where the signature is so well provenanced. The poster, of course, was plastered all across NYC subways, and was never signed. Exceptionally, we had the ingenuity to ask Christo to sign it which he graciously did. Good luck finding another like this one.

This is an extraordinary piece of New York history and art historical memorabilia. The poster is special enough; but after we acquired it, we personally got Christo to sign it for us -- he himself was impressed, heart warmed to see it and thrilled to sign it -- and the following official book signing on April 1st, 2015 at 192 Books in Manhattan. (see below)

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: In/Out Studio Launch at 192 Books
Edited and with text by Matthias Koddenberg, art historian and close friend of the artists, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: In/Out Studio is a remarkable book, a perfect combination of archival photographs, behind-the-scene views, drawings, collages, objects and an abundance of images that have never been published before, including unknown, lost, destroyed and early works, alongside the iconic monumental works for which they are best known. On Wednesday, April 1 at 7PM Christo will speak and sign copies of the book at 192 Books in Chelsea (192 10th Ave at 21st St). Images below are reproduced from the book.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City

Signed by Christo in person for the present owner on April 1, 2015 (details of the signing included in description)

More information about THE GATES, from Christo & Jeanne Claude's website:
The installation in Central Park was completed with the blooming of the 7,503 fabric panels on February 12, 2005. The 7,503 gates were 4.87 meters (16 feet) tall and varied in width from 1.68 to 5.48 meters (5 feet 6 inches to 18 feet) according to the 25 different widths of walkways, on 37 kilometers (23 miles) of walkways in Central Park. Free hanging saffron colored fabric panels, suspended from the horizontal top part of the gates, came down to approximately 2.1 meters (7 feet) above the ground. The gates were spaced at 3.65 meter (12 foot) intervals, except where low branches extended above the walkways. The gates and the fabric panels could be seen from far away through the leafless branches of the trees. The work of art remained for 16 days, then the gates were removed and the materials recycled.

The 12.7 cm (5 inch) square vertical and horizontal poles were extruded in 96.5 km (60 miles) of saffron colored vinyl. The vertical poles were secured by 15,006 narrow steel base footings, 278 to 380 kilograms (613 to 837 pounds) each, positioned on the paved surfaces. No holes were made in the ground. The gates' components were fabricated, off-site, by seven manufacturers located on the East Coast of the USA. The weaving and sewing of the fabric panels was done in Germany.

In teams of eight, 600 workers wearing "The Gates" uniforms, were responsible for installing 100 gates per team. The monitoring and removal teams included an additional 300 uniformed workers. The monitors assisted the public and gave information. All workers were financially compensated and received breakfast and one hot meal a day. Professional security worked in the park after dark.

The Gates was entirely financed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, as they have done for all their previous projects. The artists did not accept sponsorship or donations.

The grid pattern of the city blocks surrounding Central Park was reflected in the rectangular structure of the commanding saffron colored poles while the serpentine design of the walkways and the organic forms of the bare branches of the trees were mirrored in the continuously changing rounded and sensual movements of the free flowing fabric panels in the wind.

The people of New York continued to use the park as usual. For those who walked through The Gates, following the walkways, the saffron colored fabric was a golden ceiling creating warm shadows. When seen from the buildings surrounding Central Park, The Gates seemed like a golden river appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees and highlighting the shape of the meandering footpaths.


Height:   11.00
Width:   69.50