Christo rose to prominence as the artist who wraps buildings, such as the Pont Neuf in Paris in 1985 and the Reichstag in Berlin in 1995. Immense projects that intervene heavily in the environment, with all the attendant organizational, social and political implications. It is less well known that he also made installations from packaging materials, such as oil barrels.
In 1962 he blocked the Rue Visconti in Paris with oil barrels. With this ‘street-filling’ physical barricade, he aimed to disrupt the behaviour of people and offer them a spectacular visual experience. Later, this type of work acquires a more aesthetic and sculptural function and Christo seeks to focus attention on the remarkable beauty of something as banal as a stack of oil barrels. The everyday becomes art.
Rare outdoor work
In 1968, Christo made a stack of 56 oil barrels for the courtyard of the house of Dutch collectors Martin and Mia Visser in Bergeijk. This work was given a place in the sculpture garden of the Kröller-Müller Museum in 1977. It is one of the few early stacks that still exist as an outdoor work.
Extra: visit the website of Christo and Jeanne-Claude for more installations made from oil barrels.