Cahiers d’Art is proud to present the very last exhibition that Christo (1935 – 2020) envisioned during his lifetime. On this occasion, the iconic Cahiers d’Art vitrine has been transformed into an unprecedented Store Front.
For « Show Cases, Show Windows & Store Fronts – 1963-1966 », one of the last few exhibitions he worked on before his death at the end of May, Christo wanted to look back on his earlier works and highlight a selection of his Show Cases, Show Windows and Store Fronts created during the sixties. To complete, the Covered Windows for the Cahiers d’Art gallery have been realized by Christo’s Studio according to the artist’s instructions.
In 1963, while still in Paris, Christo bought small cases at a flea market. He reworked these finds by adding fabric, Kraft paper, some lighting or by covering the interior with satin or silk. These small-size vitrines were the premise of the life-sized Show Windows and Store Fronts. They mark the turning point in his work to truly architectural dimensions, which happened in 1964, after Christo had moved to New York with Jeanne-Claude.
This exhibition presents a selection of rarely shown historic works, which reveal an intimate and enigmatic facet of the artist. With these closed vitrines, in which the interior is rendered inaccessible to the onlooker, Christo plays on the viewer’s desire to see, « I think of that process as something that comes from a sort of “voyeuristic” idea. » In his last interview published in Cahiers d’Art, Christo, amused, said, « You can’t see what’s behind the door, neither can you open the door, and it’s like you’re witnessing a change of status, a transformation that questions the meaning and the function of the architecture itself.»
Christo will also be honored by a selection of publications at the Cahiers d’Art & Walther König library, at the Palais de Tokyo.
The exhibition, on view from September 23rd 2020 until Spring 2021, will complement « Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Paris ! », at the Centre Pompidou.