The musée YVES SAINT LAURENT marrakech is pleased to present Christo’s first solo exhibition in Morocco as well as his first exhibition in a museum dedicated to fashion.
Christo: Femmes 1962 – 1968, on view from 23 March to 2 June, 2019, features work related to women and fashion created by the artist between 1962 and 1968.
The exhibition includes preparatory collages and drawings which have never been on view to the public and features one original sculpture, Christo’s iconic Wedding Dress, created in 1967. Exhibited together for the first time, the works provide a narrative of a formative period in Christo’s career and offers a rare glimpse into the artist’s approach and process.
“This exhibition will be absolutely unique; something never seen before,” said Christo. “It will be about the body, the living body, the feminine body. It’s not about sculptures or mannequins. It’s all about living beings. The wrapping process involved so many different aspects: emotions, feelings, movement, and the rhythm of these bodies. These works are so significant to me now and, even more so, in this elegant museum, whose architecture seems to be inspired by the body’s movement and the natural flowing of the fabric.”
For each of these works, drawings and collages played a major role in the creative process. They reflect the birth and the evolution of his ideas, and show how the women, when wrapped, were transformed into classical sculptures.
“Each work, each project, represents that precious and beautiful moment when it was created,” said Christo. “Those moments cannot be repeated. They are unique. They exist and then they are gone forever. That’s the reason I always document my projects with photography. I would never have expected that drawings, made so nonchalantly in the sixties, could age so beautifully and be shown in an exhibition like this today.”
The exhibited collages and drawings as well as the Wedding Dress, which is at the heart of this exhibition, transcend boundaries between fashion and art, fashion and clothing, clothing and skin. They also defy the theoretical barriers between sculpture and performance, sculpture, and collage. They bear witness to how Christo’s artistic output could be paradoxically related to fashion and to traditional sculpture ranging from Tanagra to Bernini and Rodin.
A book, published by Gallimard, accompanies the exhibition. It provides a compilation of the work featured in Christo: Femmes 1962 – 1968, and includes never-before-published photographs as well as stills by Charles Wilp from his original 35mm films which document Christo’s wrapping of women in London and Düsseldorf. Additional photographs of the artist’s work between 1962 and 1968 are also included from Christo wrapping a woman in Yves Klein’s Paris home in 1962 to the 1968 solo show at the ICA Philadelphia, the last time Christo wrapped women. Referring to these works that explore the tactile surfaces of fabric used to wrap and transform the female body, Christo noted that the “fabric is like a second skin.” The book also tells the story of this formative period of Christo’s career and his contributions to contemporary art.