Christo, a Bulgarian artist known for collaborating with his late wife Jeanne-Claude in creating extraordinary sculptures around the world, died on Sunday in his home in New York City at age 84. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude have always made clear that their artworks in progress be continued after their deaths,” the couple’s shared Twitter page reads. Jeanne-Claude, also known as Mrs. Christo, died in 2009 at age 74 from complications of a brain aneurysm. The couple’s next exhibition, called L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped was initially planned for the fall of 2020 but was postponed by one year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Christo, in collaboration with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and the Centre Pompidou, had planned to wrap the famous Paris monument L’Arc de Triomphe for 16 days from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3 in 2021.
The art duo collaborated for over 50 years in making monumental artworks across the world—wrapping buildings, trees, and bridges, and once installing thousands of vinyl gates in Central Park. “Do you know that I don’t have any artworks that exist?” Christo once told The New York Times in a 1990 interview. “They all go away when they’re finished. Only the sketches are left, giving my works an almost legendary character. I think it takes much greater courage to create things to be gone than to create things that will remain.”