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In Central Park

Hal Foster: The Gates, 3 March 2005

... million in costs – and then worked over by all the wacky presentations by the Bulgarian-born Christo and his French-born partner Jeanne-Claude (she of the punk-red hair). Contemporary art is big, bright, expensive and eager to please, right? So maximise these qualities, involve as many people as possible (640 paid workers to assemble the gates and 340 ...

At the Baltic

Peter Campbell: Antony Gormley, 24 July 2003

... if’ games made serious by being taken seriously. In making his moves, Gormley resembles Christo, particularly the Christo who made the fence that ran for twenty miles across the Californian landscape: negotiating agreements for it to cross people’s land was part of the work, the collaboration that resulted being ...

At the Design Museum

Andrew O’Hagan: Peter Saville, 19 June 2003

... as period-sensitive as Andy Warhol designing adverts for shoes, as deadpan iconoclastic as Christo wrapping the Reichstag, Saville brings a bit of class to the class-conscious; all his album work seems to give out to the future, with perfect lines, choice lettering, images that strike the ideal contemporary note, offering, as he says himself, ‘a ...

Taking pictures

Peter Campbell, 3 July 1980

In Radin’s Studio 
by Albert Elsen.
Phaidon, 192 pp., £10.95, May 1980, 9780714819761
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Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer 
Thames and Hudson, 155 pp., £25, April 1980, 0 500 54062 4Show More
Isle of Man: A Book about the Manx 
by Christopher Killip.
Arts Council of Great Britain, 69 pp., £9.95, March 1980, 0 7287 0187 1
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... contact with a wide public there is at least a hint of the attitude of 20th-century sculptors like Christo, or Gilbert and George, who have made the performance the art, and the record (very often in photographs) of ephemeral events-the residue of creativity by earlier definitions – the stuff of it. While the abounding physical presence of Rodin’s work ...

Balls in Aquaria

Thomas Crow: Joseph Rykwert, 23 October 2008

The Judicious Eye: Architecture against the Other Arts 
by Joseph Rykwert.
Reaktion, 496 pp., £29.95, June 2008, 978 1 86189 358 1
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... to create a sculpture that is virtually a landscape’. Though he plainly has in mind works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Rachel Whiteread, Gordon Matta-Clark, Jeff Koons (who in fact used basketballs), Robert Smithson and Michael Heizer, once again he doesn’t trouble us with names, as if that would be to indulge such artists further. These swipes are an ...

How can we make this place more like Bosnia?

Philip Connors: Absurdistan, 2 August 2007

by Gary Shteyngart.
Granta, 333 pp., £10.99, June 2007, 978 1 86207 972 4
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... in a Hyatt Hotel robe he feels ‘like the Reichstag must have felt when it was being draped by Christo’. Squalid, horrifying and attractive, Misha is meant to embody the excesses and contradictions of our millennial stew of sexual confusion, ethnic tension, appalling consumerism and multicultural angst. You need a poster-sized Venn diagram to keep track ...


Paul Joannides, 10 January 1983

... is restrained, and there is no destruction, only the swathing of the house in polythene, like a Christo. And in E.T. the use of colour is much more muted – the mouth of hell in Poltergeist gapes like a giant jellyfish, all undulating membranes and saturated colours. In E.T. Spielberg rarely deploys a rich range of colours: one of the few instances is the ...

The Whole Bustle

Siobhan Kilfeather, 9 January 1992

The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing 
edited by Seamus Deane.
Field Day Publications/Faber, 4044 pp., £150, November 1991, 0 946755 20 5
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... implied audience, and an almost inane arbitrariness in choosing what to gloss. In Muldoon’s ‘Christo’s’ perhaps an American reader needs a note to the hunger strikes but wouldn’t such a reader also need a note for Christo? What reader of any nationality needs to be told that the Matterhorn (Kavanagh’s ...

Out of the blue

Mark Ford, 10 December 1987

Meeting the British 
by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 53 pp., £9.95, May 1987, 0 571 14858 1
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Partingtime Hall 
by James Fenton and John Fuller.
Salamander, 69 pp., £7.50, April 1987, 0 948681 05 5
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Private Parts 
by Fiona Pitt-Kethley.
Chatto, 72 pp., £4.95, June 1987, 9780701132064
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Bright River Yonder 
by John Hartley Williams.
Bloodaxe, 87 pp., £4.95, April 1987, 1 85224 028 8
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... tricks to Muldoon’s repertoire. Two of the book’s most effective pieces, ‘Sushi’ and ‘Christo’s’, succeed by feigning a winning helplessness in the face of the brilliance of their own metaphorical processes. ‘Christo’s’ describes a day’s drive from Dingle to Belfast, during which everything the ...

Bohemian in Vitebsk

J. Hoberman: Red Chagall, 9 April 2009

Chagall: Love and Exile 
by Jackie Wullschlager.
Allen Lane, 582 pp., £30, October 2008, 978 0 7139 9652 4
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... the town transformed with colourful images and bunting; Chagall responded on a scale which even Christo might have envied. As described by Wullschlager, Commissar Chagall ‘posted a placard asking all painters, including house painters and sign painters, to stop any other work and present themselves for registration. Seven triumphal arches were built in ...

Mandela: Death of a Politician

Stephen W. Smith: Mandela, the Politician, 9 January 2014

... and shall find, me unafraid. Not much is known about the early years of prisoner 466/64. In 1978, Christo Brand, an 18-year-old from a rural Afrikaner family, became Mandela’s guard on Robben Island, ten kilometres off Cape Town. Brand still works as a tourist guide in the penitentiary, which is now a museum. When I spoke to him last summer, he said that at ...

The Deaths Map

Jeremy Harding: At the Mexican Border, 20 October 2011

... costly border wall – ‘the fence’, ‘the barrier’ – now runs in sections, like a work by Christo and Jeanne Claude, along parts of the frontier, but the terrain in most of Arizona is so fierce that it was thought until recently to be a stronger disincentive to illegal entry than any man-made obstacle. Border vigilance in its present form took shape ...

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