Christo
Early Works

★★★★☆

Curated by Elena Geuna
On until 22 October 2023

There are a handful of artists in the canon of contemporary art who are so keenly rewarded for their monumental productions that they forget the work they made before they made it. Christo became a household name in the 1980s when he started wrapping islands, bridges, and buildings in shiny fabrics – a practice that even he admitted was mostly administration – and with this habit cured his earlier addiction to wrapping everyday objects in sheets of fabric and plastics. And he wrapped everything: shoes, jerry cans, a child’s pram, typewriters. He even wrapped ‘packages’ – objects which had already been wrapped – and paintings. 

Gagosian’s sexy marketing of Christo’s 1950s and 60s wraps in the quirky ‘open’ space of an unrenovated 18th-century Huguenot house in East London may just save this artist from art history’s cruel type-casting of his practice as ‘environmental’ or ‘political’. They’re made of the right materials which aged as though to fit perfectly next to Beuys’ felt piano. And the show is sure a joyful crowd pleaser. But Christo himself lost faith in these objects. To appreciate them truly against his wishes, one must forget his later stunts. That would require more goodwill than the art market has for anyone.


notes and notices are short and curt exhibition reviews. Read more:

Poppy Jones, Solid Objects at Herald St ★★★★☆

Poppy Jones

Solid Objects

★★★★☆

The lightness of the painter’s gesture cries out for a sledgehammer that would relieve the viewer of his doubt.

Entangled Pasts at The Royal Academy ★★☆☆☆

Entangled Pasts, 1768–now

★★☆☆☆

Who could have thought that these mantras would turn into rote?

RM, A Story Backwards at Auto Italia ★★☆☆☆

RM

A Story Backwards

★★☆☆☆

Having forgotten what the ‘dramatic’ in art stands for, visual artists today too often mistake hacked theory for stage directions.

Peter Fischli and David Weiss at Sprüth Magers ★★★★☆

Peter Fischli and David Weiss

★★★★☆

A police procedural turns into a drinking game of Foucauldian power analysis.

Auudi Dorsey at PM/AM ★★★★☆

Auudi Dorsey

★★★★☆

Dorsey records the human experience with the true universalism of paint.

Michael Andrew Page, Claustrum at Project Native Informant ★★★★☆

Michael Andrew Page

Claustrum

★★★★☆

Page’s tent, brain, and the cathedral take the same form for a pretty good reason.

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