A Unique Exhibition in Memory of Christo Javachev

A Unique Exhibition in Memory of Christo Javachev

“Working is the greatest freedom I can have,” Christo Javachev

The National Gallery Square 500 gives us a unique opportunity to get closer to the work of the world-famous duo Christo-Jeanne-Claude. We remind that Christo Yavashev (Christo) died on May 31 this year, and his wife – 11 years earlier, but the couple left behind impressive works of art, which will be talked about for a long time.

The exhibition

The presentation of the works of the two artists takes place thanks to the partnership with three private Bulgarian collectors of contemporary art. Thus, in the halls of the gallery until October 25 2020 we will be able to see three original works, many photos from different projects, as well as details about the work of the artistic couple.

Don’t miss the sketches of “Mastabata in Abu Dhabi” (the longest project in development, for the finalization of which the couple’s nephews are now engaged). This art installation is designed as the largest permanent sculptor in the world. Inspired by it, Christo made his first major outdoor project in London – the Mastaba art installation on a lake in Hyde Park.

sketch of Mastaba in Abu Dabi by Christo

Photo: Square 500 

Among the exhibits are sketches of the project “Over the River” (since 1992), the realization of which came after numerous studies and attempts to obtain permission from the US authorities. Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s vision includes 9.5 km of gleaming silver woven panels hung like a horizontal “curtain” over the water in eight different sections of the Arkansas River.

Sketch of Above the River by Christo

Photo: Square 500 

We can also see the sketches of the “Surrounded Islands” – an installation in Biscayne Bay, Miami, from 1983. For two weeks a shining pink cloth covering the coastline.

sketch of the Surrounded Islands

Photo: Square 500 

Who is Christo?

A sculptor, an artist and an avant-garde artist… He became famous for his work with his wife Jeanne-Claude de Guillebon. Both are unique in the original art installations. An example of this is the packaging of the Reichstag building in Berlin with fabric after three refusals in 1977, 1981 and 1987 and a parliamentary debate. Another iconic work by Christo is The Floating Quays on Lake Iseo in Northern Italy.

Christo was born on June 13, 1935 in Gabrovo. From an early age he became involved in artistic circles, as his family has such interests. He draws constantly and everything, examines the books of the great masters, he tells the story of his own life. He studied in a drawing class, took painting and sculpture lessons.

Yavachev completed his secondary education in Plovdiv and in 1952 entered the Academy of Arts in Sofia. Only 4 years later, however, he emigrated because he felt misunderstood. He first went to Prague, Czechoslovakia (September 1956), where he stayed with relatives, but then fled to Austria and became a political refugee. In both Prague and Vienna he worked various things, but among them he was also successful as a portrait painter.

Later he moved to Geneva and after that to Paris. Yavachev’s stay in the French capital turned out to be fateful for his life. While portraying the wife of General de Guillebon, he met their daughter Jeanne-Claude, who later became his companion in life and work.