Sotheby's will sell Christo's preparatory works for Arc de Triomphe wrap

Proceeds from exhibition will go towards funding the monumental Paris project

Christo's  Arc de Triomphe Large #7 (2019) © Sotheby’s/ArtDigital Studio

Christo's Arc de Triomphe Large #7 (2019) © Sotheby’s/ArtDigital Studio

To coincide with the posthumously realised final project of Christo that will wrap the Arc de Triomphe in Paris in fabric this autumn, Sotheby's will hold a selling exhibition in the city (17 September-3 October) of the late artist's works made around the monumental architectural intervention.

Featuring 25 works in total, The Final Christo will detail how the Bulgarian artist, and his wife and collaborator Jeanne-Claude who died in 2009, envisioned and succeeded in executing one of their greatest artistic goals. It will include maps, architectural plans, photographs and engineering drawings in pastel and paint. Samples of silvery blue polypropylene fabric—270,000 sq. ft of which will be used to wrap the monument—will also be for sale. Works range from $150,000 to $2.5m.

Proceeds from the exhibition will go towards the foundation of Christo and Jeanne-Claude as well as funding L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped. The project, which will cost €14m, has been entirely funded by Christo through the sale of his preparatory studies, drawings and collages of the project as well as scale models, works from the 1950s and 1960s and original lithographs on other subjects.

"These works made possible the seminal projects that dominated Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s later career. Their sale was the sole means of funding their public projects, such as New York’s The Gates and Berlin’s Wrapped Reichstag, says Simon Shaw, Sotheby's vice-chairman in a statement. He adds: "While the nature of these installations was always to be temporary, lasting only a matter of days, they live forever in two places: in the collective imagination and in Christo’s breath-taking original works.”

In February, Sotheby's Paris sold works from the estate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, achieving €9.2m. Proceeds from the sale also went towards the Paris project, as well as the artist's foundation.