Christo’s triumph in Paris!

Outings | A day in Paris | Museums | Exhibitions | About art

From the Center Pompidou to the Rue Saint-Honoré

christo-et-jeanne-claude-pompidou-21-the-pont-neuf-wrapped-1-paris-1975-1985_byespritdefrance.jpgFamous for packaging and wrapping up emblematic monuments with the simple purpose of offering a way to rediscover familiar emblems from a different viewpoint, the couple Christo and Jeanne-Claude are in the spotlight at the Center Pompidou. It all started in 1958 when the two artists, then 23 years old and born respectively in Bulgaria and Morocco, met in Paris. From that time Christo endeavored to "wrap" objects from his workshop -boxes, bottles, etc.- with fabric stiffened with lacquer paint which he then tied with string. In 1961, they began to intervene in public space by barricading the Visconti Street using 89 barrels, in reaction to the construction of the Berlin Wall at the time; they gradually introduced their fully-wrapped technique, on a small scale at the beginning and which became monumental over time. They moved for good to the United States in 1964, but came back later to achieve their desire to wrap up Le Pont-Neuf in Paris in the 1980s. The second part of the exhibition, starting with a fascinating documentary film of the time traces the story of this crazy project: 430,556 sq ft of golden sandstone polyamide fabric and miles and miles of string fixed by a team of mountaineers! Encompassing 300 works including drawings, original collages, models and photographs, this major retrospective takes the form of a posthumous tribute since Christo passed away this May. And it will continue with the wrapping up of the Arc de Triomphe, that had been imagined in 1961 and which will be achieved and visible from the 19th of September to the 3rd of October 2021. 

69912724_572906553245724_5086471799479205888_o_byespritdefrance.jpgAt the end of the exhibition, in the old district of Les Halles, rue Saint-Honoré, a stone's throw from Place de l'Arbre Sec, you will find the Restaurant Le Brun, named after Louis XIV’s favourite painter. The 1820 black marble storefront, engraved with "A la renommée des herbes cuites” (to the fame of cooked herbs), is a listed historical monument that catches the eye and incites curiosity. Come and enjoy delicate versions of regional specialties: for example the pan-fried foie gras escalope, a green asparagus risotto and prawns in lobster bisque, finished off with a tonka bean crème brûlée. Warm, cheerful staff, jazz music softly playing in the background and sometimes a little live piano, plus a very cosy smoking area!