Christo and Jeanne-Claude Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped Book

Even in the last year of Christo’s life, he worked to wrap the entire Arc de Triomphe in Paris in large swaths of shimmering silvery-blue fabric. The ambitious work, titled The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped and 60 years of creation, became reality in September 2021, also featured in the Sotheby’s exhibition, a year after the artist’s death at the age of 84.

A new limited-edition book, published by Taschen, tells the behind-the-scenes story of this monumental project, conceived by Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude. The pair met in Paris in 1958 and were best known for their site-specific work that consumed monumental landmarks and environmental sites in fabric.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's final project, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, preserved in a new limited edition book

Christo and Jeanne Claude, The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021edited by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

What Christo called “light disturbances” were drastic changes to landscapes and cityscapes. Sweet, perhaps, in their transience, but not in their visual impact. As Christo said, “Each of our projects is like a slice of our life, me and Jeanne-Claude. And the journey is so exciting, it’s a real-world adventure.

The new book, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Parisis published in a 2000 edition. Spanning 450 pages, designed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s studio in close collaboration with Taschen, the book recounts in stunning detail how The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped went from early fantasy to the stunning final installation, which was seen by 6 million viewers over 16 days in the Place de l’Etoile (and was also the subject of a Sotheby’s exhibition, “The Final Christo ” at the same period).

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's final project, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, preserved in a new limited edition book

Christo and Jeanne Claude, The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021edited by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

This substantial tome offers a permanent tribute to a short-lived installation that formed a spectacular finale to the duo’s epic career.

For those keen to own their own piece of art history, a limited collector’s edition of 2,500 copies is also available, signed by project photographer Wolfgang Volz (who worked with Christo and Jeanne-Claude as photographer of their works since 1971), each accompanied by a 24 x 24 cm sample of the original silver fabric, as well as two different artist’s editions.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's final project, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, preserved in a new limited edition book

Christo and Jeanne Claude, The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

Cover of the book Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

Christo and Jeanne Claude, The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, is now available, £350. taschen.com (opens in a new tab)

Angela C. Hale