Wife of Famous Bulgarian-Born Artist Christo Dies at 74

Obituaries | November 19, 2009, Thursday // 20:34|  views

A 1998 photo shows Bulgarian-born artist Christo, (left), and his wife Jeanne-Claude in Riehen, Switzerland. Photo by BGNES

Jeanne-Claude, artist and wife of Bulgarian-born Christo, has died at 74, Bloomberg reports Thursday.

Jeanne-Claude died Wednesday night at a New York hospital from complications of a brain aneurysm.

Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon was born on June 13, 1935, in Casablanca, Morocco, to a French military family, according to a biography on the couple’s Web site. She was educated in France and Switzerland and earned her university degree in Latin and philosophy from the University of Tunis.

The couple’s 2005 project in New York, “The Gates,” placed panels of free-flowing orange fabric suspended from gateway frames along 23 miles of the Central Park’s walkways. The two-week exhibition drew 4 million visitors and generated USD 254 M from hotel stays, restaurants and other cultural attractions, according to the city.

Though they collaborated in creating their art projects, Jeanne- Claude handled the business part of the projects while Christo, who was trained as an artist, generated ideas.

Jeanne-Claude is cited as saying that after settling in New York City they made the joint decision to present Christo as the lead artist in their projects and it wasn’t until 1993, when “Christo’s hair had turned gray and mine had turned red, that we could finally tell the truth. And that is why my name appeared.”

Other projects by Jeanne-Claude and her Bulgarian-born husband included the 1995 “Wrapped Reichstag” in Berlin, the 1983 transformation of islands off Miami into lily pads using pink fabric, and, in 1991, a simultaneous display of huge umbrellas in Japan (blue) and in California (yellow).


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Tags: Jeanne-Claude, Christo


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