The collages and preparatory drawings made prior to these events were typically sold to finance the projects. They have long been popular with collectors but Christo’s death early this year has apparently served to bring more pieces to auction.
Serendipidy has it that three of these for sale this autumn relate to the wrapping of the Pont Neuf in Paris. Planning for the project had started in 1979 but hit a wall when Paris mayor Jacques Chirac refused permission in early 1982. It was only after an aide slotted the permit approval into a pile of the mayor’s papers, that he signed it inadvertently in August 1984. Christo and his team finally completed their goal in 1985.
Last week’s sale of Important Paintings at Doyle New York on September 17 included a large two-part mixed media work measuring 22in x 2ft 4in (56 x 71cm) and 11in x 2ft 4in (28 x 71cm) titled The Pont Neuf, Wrapped (Project for Paris) and dated 1982.
Exhibited at the 1982 UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies in Mexico, it had been purchased directly from the artist by the consignor.
Estimated at $80,000-120,000, it sold at $100,000 (£77,000).
A similar work in two parts of the same title but dated 1985 carries an estimate of €100,000- 150,000 at Tajan’s sale of Art Contemporain on November 25.
However, on offer on September 25 is the smaller 11 x 14 (28 x 35cm) work that uses pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, a photograph by Wolfgang Volz and enamel paint.
Presented by the artist as a gift to one of the team of American engineers who helped with the project in Paris, it comes for sale at Skinner’s sale of Paintings and Sculpture in Massachusetts with an estimate of $45,000-55,000.