Weekly Special Collection: Christo and Nobuo SEKINE
July 6 Fri. - July 13 Fri. 2018 11:00-19:00
■Christo and Jeanne-Claude (1935-2020, 1935-2009)
Christo was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. He left Bulgaria in 1956, first to Prague, Czechoslovakia, and then escaped to Vienna, Austria, in 1957, then moved to Geneva, Switzerland. In 1958, Christo went to Paris, where he met Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon, not only his wife but life partner in the creation of monumental environmental works of art. Jeanne-Claude passed away on November 18, 2009. Christo died on May 31, 2020 at his home in New York City, where he lived for over 50 years.
From early wrapped objects to monumental outdoor projects, Christo and Jeanne-Claude's artwork transcended the traditional bounds of painting, sculpture, and architecture. Some of their work included Wrapped Coast near Sydney (1968–69), Valley Curtain in Colorado (1970–72), Running Fence in California (1972–76), Surrounded Islands in Miami (1980–83), The Pont Neuf Wrapped in Paris (1975–85), The Umbrellas in Japan and California (1984–91), Wrapped Reichstag in Berlin (1971–95), The Gates in New York's Central Park (1979–2005), The Floating Piers at Italy's Lake Iseo (2014–16), and The London Mastaba on London's Serpentine Lake (2016–18).
■Nobuo SEKINE (1942-2019)
Nobuo Sekine was born 1942 in Saitama Prefecture. He studied under Saito Yoshishige at the Department of Oil Painting at Tama Art University, graduating in 1968. Past graduation, he participated in the 8th Exhibition of Contemporary Art, the Open Air Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition at Suma Rikyu Park (Kobe), and the 5th Nagaoka Exhibition of Contemporary Art, with some of his works giving rise to controversy. Sekine counts as one of the central members of the Mono-ha movement. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1970, and in 1973 founded Environmental Art Studio. In 1978, he exhibited at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Denmark), and a variety of other venues in Europe.
Phase: Mother Earth, Sekine’s most well-known work, simply is a cylindrical hole he dug out in Suma Park, with the soil from the hole formed into a cylinder and placed next to it. During its lifetime of merely a couple of weeks, this work made a lasting impression on the minds of the visitors. If he would have continued that work forever, at some point the earth would have been wholly dug up, and there would have been a new earth next to the space where the old one used to be… Phase: Mother Earth, maybe conceived as a thought experiment under the impact of topology, is a work of magnificent scale that established Sekine’s reputation in the art world.
He passed away in May, 2019.