The artist Christo presented the National Gallery of Art
with two original preparatory collages for Over The River, both dating from 2010, for the Gallery's permanent collection. The gifts were unveiled during a press conference on November 8, 2011, with Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, a day after Interior's Bureau of Land Management officially approved Over The River, a project for the Arkansas River in Colorado that Christo developed with his late wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude. The collages are on view with four earlier related works by Christo in the lobby of the East Building Auditorium through January 23, 2012.
"We are honored to receive from Christo two stunning collages illustrating his vision for Over The River. They will join nearly 80 works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude already in our collection," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "The Gallery has enjoyed the privilege of a long and close relationship with Christo and Jeanne-Claude."
"I am very pleased to present these works to the National Gallery on this exciting day following the federal government's approval of Over The River," said Christo. "This prominent art institution is home to one of the world's largest collections of my works, and today I am pleased to add to that collection through the gift of two preparatory collages about this project."
The gift, alongside the Gallery's existing collection of preparatory works on paper from various stages of this projecttwo early drawings from 1992 and two large collages from 2000illustrates Christo's working process and brings to light the project's development as it has evolved over the past two decades.
In 2002, the National Gallery of Art presented the first survey mounted in the United States encompassing four decades of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's work, all drawn from the contemporary art collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel.
Over The River is a temporary work of art first proposed in 1992 by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. For this work, Christo will suspend 5.9 miles of silvery fabric panels high above the Arkansas River interstitially along a 42-mile stretch between Salida and Cañon City in Colorado. Fabric panels will be suspended at eight distinct areas of the river that were selected by the artists for their aesthetic merits and technical viability. If the permit process moves forward as planned, Christo hopes to present Over The River for two consecutive weeks in August 2014.