Farnsworth Forum to host Christo

Jun 25, 2014
Photo by: Wolfgang Volz Jeanne-Claude and Christo are pictured during the work on "The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005."

Rockland — On Wednesday, Sept. 10, the Farnsworth Forum will once again host one of America’s leading public intellectuals who will give his views on the state of the art world. This year, the Farnsworth Art Museum is proud to present internationally renowned artist Christo, who will speak on (late wife) Jeanne-Claude’s and his historic projects ranging over half a century.

Christo will highlight two extraordinary works in progress, Over The River Project for the Arkansas River, Colo.; and The Mastaba Project for the United Arab Emirates. The artist will then answer questions from the audience. The event will begin 6 p.m. at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude moved permanently to New York in 1964. After working constantly throughout this country and abroad on challenging projects of various sizes, in 1972 they created the huge “Valley Curtain, Colorado,” and more and more people began looking forward to what was going to come next. Before long, a series of beautiful and highly popular works appeared around the globe: “Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California” (1976); “Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida” (1983); “The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris” (1985); “The Umbrellas, Japan-U.S.A.” (1991); “Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin” (1995); and “The Gates, Central Park, New York City” (2005).

“Over The River” is a two-week temporary work of art by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The project was conceived in 1992 and calls for 5.9 miles of silvery, luminous fabric panels to be suspended high above the Arkansas River along a 42-mile stretch of the river between Salida and Cañon City in south-central Colorado. Fabric panels will be suspended at eight distinct areas of the river, selected by the artists for their aesthetic merits and technical viability.

The road running along the river will allow the project to be seen and enjoyed from above by car, bus or motorcycle; and from underneath the fabric panels by raft or kayak. Wide clearance between the banks and the edges of the fabric panels will create a play of contrast allowing sunlight to illuminate the river on both sides. When seen from underneath, the luminous and translucent fabric will highlight the contours of the clouds, the mountains and the vegetation.

“The Mastaba,” a project for Abu Dhabi, was conceived in 1977. It will be the largest sculpture in the world, made from 410,000 multi-colored barrels to form a mosaic of bright sparkling colors, echoing Islamic architecture. “The Mastaba” is an ancient and familiar shape to the people of the region.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s relationship with Abu Dhabi goes back to 1979 when they first visited the Emirate. They have returned many times since, creating a longstanding friendship with the people of Abu Dhabi. “The Mastaba” will be Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s only permanent large-scale work.

The Farnsworth Forum is $40, $30 for Farnsworth members. To purchase tickets, call Brown Paper Tickets, (800) 838-3006 (available 24/7) or visit brownpapertickets.com; one has the option of having hardcopy tickets mailed or printing off e-tickets at home. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. and it is open seating.

This is the eighth presentation of the Farnsworth Forum. Previous presented have been Arthur Danto, Philippe de Montebello, David McCullough, Peter Gelb, Angela Miller, Adam Weinberg and Adam Gopnik. For more information on current exhibitions, programs and events, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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