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Christo and Jean-Claude Present Over The River Exhibition at Fondation de l'Hermitage
A woman observes a work made by Christo and Jeanne-Claude during the inauguration of the exhibition 'Over the River, A Work in Progress' on view at Fondation de l´Hermitage in Lausanne, Switzerland. Photo: EFE/DOMINIC FAVRE

LAUSANNE.- The Fondation de l’Hermitage presents an outstanding exhibition on Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s current artwork in progress, Over The River. Preparation for this creation, to be exhibited in summer 2012 at the earliest, started in 1992. The artists propose the horizontal suspension of 9.4 km of fabric panels in separate segments along a 64 km stretch above the Arkansas River, in the State of Colorado (United States). This stunning exhibition is part of a longstanding commitment of the Fondation de l’Hermitage to represent important figures in the world of contemporary art.

After the monumental The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, Over The River is another grand-scale sculptural work of art giving visitors a new way of looking at the landscape around them. Made up of massive silvery fabric panels highlighting the contours of the riverbanks, this aerial river will poetically mirror the meanders of the Arkansas. Christo and Jeanne-Claude (both born on June 13, 1935) have designed a system enabling the viewer to contemplate their work from different levels and viewpoints. Cars will enjoy an hour’s visual pleasure driving along U.S. Route 50, whereas rafters familiar with the river will have a new aesthetic experience as they admire the natural landscape ‘transformed’ during their five-hour descent.

Chronicling the artists’ process from 1992 to 2008, from conception and development of the project to requests for permits from the Federal Authorities in Washington, this exhibition brings together 150 preparatory sketches and collages, maps, photographs, technical drawings and materials used to assemble the spectacular work. The early, minutely-detailed studies can be read just like authentic observation notes, bringing the metamorphosis of the site to life, while samples of the translucent fabric sometimes applied to drawings give the project a tangible presence.

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Christo and Jean-Claude Present Over The River Exhibition at Fondation de l'Hermitage

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