collection

Wrapped Armchair

The Van Abbemuseum Collection consists of over 2800 artworks. We publish texts and images on an ongoing basis, but this record is currently in the process of being documented.

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Description

The work 'Wrapped Armchair' by the artist duo Christo & Jean Claude consists of a brown faux leather chair wrapped up in a white cloth. After this the whole thing was wrapped in transparent plastic. Then various types of rope were knotted around it to keep all the packaging together.

Christo settled in Paris in 1958, where he came into contact with artists who used objects from everyday reality as a starting point for their work. They did not represent these objects but used them as ready-made objects. Christo started by wrapping up objects, initially using objects which were easy to handle, such as bottles and cans. Gradually he opted for larger objects, for example, pieces of furniture, a motorbike or display case. The objects remain recognizable underneath or through their packaging, but are stripped of their function by this intervention.

In 1964 Christo moved to New York with his wife Jean Claude, with whom he forms an artist duo since 1961, where the ideas for large-scale projects developed, such as wrapping up buildings. These sorts of interventions in the human environment were preceded by stacked constructions, which Christo & Jean Claude had already created in Paris in 1962. In that year they closed the Rue Visconti for two hours by stacking up empty oil barrels to create a wall six metres high. With packaging and obstacles Christo & Jean Claude wanted to confront passers-by with something they would know and recognize, but which was removed from its usual context. Conscious of the unusual situation, the passer-by becomes an observer rather than a user of the objects.

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Context

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