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Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates, Central Park, New York

Exhibition dates: April 6 – July 25, 2004
Exhibition location: The American Wing, first floor, The Erving and Joyce Wolf Gallery
Press preview: Monday, April 5, 10:00 a.m. – noon

The evolution of the widely anticipated outdoor work of art for New York City initiated in 1979 by the husband-and-wife collaborators Christo and Jeanne-Claude will be the subject of the exhibition Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Gates, Central Park, New York, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from April 6 through July 25, 2004. Fifty preparatory drawings and collages by Christo, 40 photographs, and 10 maps and technical diagrams will document the soon-to-be-realized work of art, which when completed will consist of 7,500 saffron-colored gates placed at 12-foot intervals throughout 23 miles of pedestrian walkways lacing Central Park from 59th Street to 110th Street and from Central Park West to Fifth Avenue.

The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005 will be on view in Central Park for 16 days in February 2005. This outdoor project – in which 193 gates will surround the Metropolitan Museum in the park, all the way to the glass wall of The American Wing – will be entirely financed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The exhibition is made possible by an anonymous donor.

Philippe de Montebello, Director, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, commented: "We are delighted to present the blueprints, if you will, of this far-reaching project, which the public will be able to preview here at the Museum. At long last Christo and Jeanne-Claude's project will see fruition, and our exhibition will trace the full course of its evolution. This work of massive scope, when realized, will surely constitute a tribute to the grandeur of Central Park and New York City, and reaffirm the continuity of culture and the centrality of art to the life of our city and all cities."

The Metropolitan Museum's exhibition will document the development of the project from its initial drawing of 1979 through preparatory studies from the 1980s, 1990s, and the present decade. Also on view will be actual components of one of the gates, each of which will measure 16 feet in height and vary in width from six to 18 feet.

All works in the exhibition are courtesy of Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

For more than four decades, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have collaborated on such temporary outdoor works as Dockside Packages, Cologne Harbor, 1961; Wrapped Coast, Little Bay, Sydney, Australia, 1969; Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970-72; Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Florida, 1980-83; The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975-85; Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95, and Wrapped Trees, Riehen-Basel, Switzerland 1997-98.

The curator of the exhibition is Anne L. Strauss, Assistant Curator, Department of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan plans a full roster of educational events in conjunction with the exhibition, including "Two Works in Progress," a discussion by Christo and Jeanne-Claude about two of their current projects, on April 27, 2004, at 6:00 p.m. ($25), and documentary films by the Maysles brothers about earlier works by the artists.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated publication, published by Yale University Press, in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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