ProvenanceGal. Guy Pieters, Knokke
THE GATES (PROJECT FOR CENTRAL PARK, NEW YORK CITY) (2004)
The first ideas for the "The Gates" originated in 1979, but the project was not realized until 2005. It took more than 25 years to implement this project, which in the end could only be visited for 16 days. 7500 gates and 1 million meters of saffron-colored nylon spread over 37 kilometers colored Central Park. Christo described it as a golden river appearing and disappearing through the branches of the trees. East and West met in The Gates, because on the one hand the gates were inspired by Japanese torii (traditional gates at the entrance of Shinto shrines) and on the other hand the large rectangular shapes reflected the rigid grid pattern of the city blocks that surrounded Central Park. This work was one of the preliminary studies that Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude made during the preparations for the project. They were 'lobbying' tools with which the couple wanted to visualize and finance their idea. At the same time, they also considered these studies as finished works. They were creations that embodied their craftsmanship and imagination. This work is therefore a unique reminder of the temporary, ephemeral but also monumental performance in Central Park.
"The Gates" was one of the last projects of the couple. The duo worked together for more than 3 decades orchestrating their large-scale projects. Their democratic vision on art rather referred to the outside of museum walls. The projects they realized were mostly in open air and through their collaboration with hundreds of workers, their creations undermined the idea of the lonely artistic genius. Other examples of this philosophy were the wrapping of the Pont Neuf in Paris and the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin.