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Christo, Wrapped Painting for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Chicago, the first North American building Christo ever wrapped 1969
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Wrap In Wrap Out ("Wrapped Painting") for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Chicago, the first North American building Christo ever wrapped, 1969
Offset lithograph printed on both sides, die-cut, on white board. Signed & numbered with MOCA label verso.
32 × 23 inches
This work bears the label from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago - the first North American building ever wrapped by Christo (!!) -- and it has fine provenance as it was acquired from the collection of the renowned Charles Foley Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. This limited edition hand-signed and numbered 1969 offset lithograph was sold by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago to raise funds for then-33 year old artist Christo's historic, career-making project Wrap In Wrap Out at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. It turned out to be the very first building in North America ever wrapped by Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude.
In an illuminating 2010 article entitled, "A daring plan to wrap a Chicago museum raises city ire – and makes art history," author Robin Amer recounts how Christo came to choose Chicago -- or rather how Chicago chose New York based artist Christo: "During a recent conversation he [Christo] ticked off the list of buildings he approached in downtown Manhattan starting in 1961. “Number 2 Broadway, number 20 Exchange Place,” he recalled. “We tried to wrap a building at Times Square. They all said no. Christo said he quickly realized that his best hope to wrap a building – his first in North America – would be to wrap a museum, which might be more amenable to his strange proposition.Christo and Jeanne-Claude approached New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1967. The museum was interested, but Christo said they failed to secure permission for the show from the New York Fire Department or from the museum’s insurance company. So New York said no, but Chicago said yes. It was a fateful decision." The author goes on to describe a comical cat and mouse game the Museum's first director a hip young Dutchman named Jan van der Marck, and his protege, David Katzive, the MCA’s first curator, played with the city's fire commissioner and his team of inspectors. Needless to say, the show was a resounding success - and it paved the way for Christo and his wife Jeanne Claude to wrap buildings around the country - leading to their legendary "The Gates" project in New York City. As Amer notes, "The MCA coming aboard showed Chicago could be on the leading edge, too." Christo said Chicago was crucial in his own artistic evolution, giving him the credibility to wrap bigger buildings, like the German parliament in 1995."
As it turns out Wrap In Wrap Out was the last major public project Christo and his wife would complete in Chicago. This very important early Christo lithograph is becoming increasingly uncommon on the general market because editions are in the permanent collection of major museums like the Museum of Modern Art (donated by Chicago MOCA) and other institutions worldwide. This vintage lithograph was published in a signed and numbered edition of only 100.
Catalogue Raisonne Reference: 25, Schellman
signed and numbered from the edition of only 100 verso on the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago label
Charles Foley Gallery Collection, Columbus, Ohio.
Catalogue Raisonne: 25, Schellman