Christo Drawings | review by Nicole Maynard

Christo Drawings | review by Nicole MaynardPérez Art Museum Miami, 1103 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 3313206JUL(JUL 6)12:00 am31AUG(AUG 31)11:59 pm

Christo Drawings at PAMM-2


(Wednesday July 6th, 2022) - (Wednesday August 31st, 2022)


Collaborators in art and marriage, artists Christo and Jean-Claude sustained both over decades. Creators of outdoor public art projects, their shared dream was vast and stunning. An exhibition of Christo’s drawings at the Perez Art Museum Miami provides an opportunity to see their thinking.

Christo Drawings | Christo and Jeanne-Claude | Perez Museum Highlights

Maritza Lacayo talks about “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1980–83 | A Documentary Exhibition”.

YouTube video

Wrapped Trees

It is a long path from idea to finished project. Like a landscape architect’s drawings, these show the way. Notations, maps, and diagrams reflect multifaceted planning. The drawings combine materials that mimic those slated for the public pieces. Christo and Jean-Claude loved to wrap, drape, and place objects strategically outdoors. They didn’t wrap tiny things like presents, although their work gifts something to us. They wrapped trees and buildings and installed 7,500 vinyl gates in New York’s Central Park.

Surrounded Island

Large projects removed the individual artist’s eye and hand. In Surrounded Islands (1980-1983),  islands on Miami’s Biscayne Bay were wrapped with pink fabric. Photos show pink, curvy shapes with green trees in the middle glowing on blue water. They invoke awe and joy.

If Christo and Jean-Claude knew anything, it was harnessing the power of scale. The artistic use of scale was at play in nineteen-century American landscape painting. The effect is to take the viewer’s breath away.

The artists were pragmatic innovators in both art and economics. They created their own market for the drawings, using the sales to fund their dream projects. The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School selected them as Great Negotiators. The back and forth with regulatory boards for project approval went often on for years. Christo and Jean-Claude were tenacious visionaries, committed to bringing beauty to everyone.

When you go:

–  Look at the Umbrellas (Joint Project for Japan and USA). Christo draws an aerial view of the project similar to the way Japanese artists show landscapes in woodcuts.
–  Find twine, fabric, and polyethylene combined with traditional drawing materials.
– Don’t miss the slideshow of the completed outdoor projects.

The Umbrellas

Curated by María Elena Ortiz for the Perez Art Museum Miami, Christo Drawings: A Gift from the Maria Bechily and Scott Hodes Collection is on view August 19, 2022 – June 11, 2023.

PAMM is located at 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, FL 33132

Review by Nicole Maynard