On October 8, 2013 by Evan Senn



When we were only tiny children, Christo and Jeanne-Claude blew our minds with giant yellow umbrellas, scattered across the California mountains. It was the first time in our lives that learned art didn’t have to exist on a piece of paper or on a canvas. It truly changed our lives.

Learning the delicate and monumental creations and installations of Christo and Jeanne-Claude has changed the way we envision art, the way we imagine the world. They have created larger than life installations in places no one would ever imagine them. The Running Fence, the Valley Curtain,Wrapped Coast, Surrounded Islands, The Gates, and now, the Big Air Package. The world’s largest inflated envelope without a skeleton has been installed in Germany, and is blown up to 177,000 cubic meters.

Christo and  Jeanne-Claude are the grandparents of fantastical large-scale installations. The pair draped a 400-meter curtain across a valley in the Rocky Mountains, surrounded 11 Miami islands in bright pink tutus, and dotted Central Park with over 7,500 shimmering orange gates. With Big Air Package Christo is once again pushing limits of space and environment.

According to the artist’s website, the installation is the “largest ever inflated envelope without a skeleton” at 90 meters high and 50 meters in diameter. The structure stands inside a former natural gas container in Germany, and the massive cylinder is inflated by two air fans.

“When the Big Air Package was finally installed, it was absolutely unexpected,” Christo states in the installation’s press release. “The fabric very much transports the light. You are virtually swimming in light when you are inside the Big Air Package.”

“Big Air Package” is on view at the Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany thru December 30.

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Jeanne-Claude, who collaborated with her husband, Christo, on dozens of environmental art projects, notably the wrapping of the Pont Neuf in Paris and the Reichstag in Berlin and the installation of 7,503 vinyl gates with saffron-colored nylon panels in Central Park, died in Manhattan, where she lived in 2009. She was 74.Click here to see a slideshow of Jeanne-Claude’s impact on the world: RIP Jeanne-Claude.

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