The Gasometer Oberhausen houses the latest work of Christo a 90 meter high air sculpture.
The internationally acclaimed artist Christo has presented his latest work of art, “Big Air Package” a monumental indoor sculpture, possibly the largest ever made. The sculpture has been especially created for the Gasometer Oberhausen in Germany a 117-meter-high industrial building and Europe’s largest exhibition space.
Christo conceived the “Big Air Package” in 2010 and spent the last two years developing its structure. Its characteristics are of a monumental scale: made from 20,350 square meters of semitransparent polyester fabric and 4,500 meters of rope, the structure, once inflated is 90 meters high and 50 meters in diameter. The sculpture nearly spans from wall to wall inside the former gas tank, filling up the giant space and leaving only a small passage to walk around it.
But the most impressive part of this installation is the experience of entering the inside of the envelope. As the artist describes “the fabric very much transports the light”, causing the light in the interior to be diffused, giving the sensation that “you are virtually swimming in light”. This experience of shape, space and light is, in the artist’s words, “the most unique aspect of all the Air Packages” that he and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, have created since 1966. The project has been directed by Wolfgang Volz, who has collaborated many times with Christo.
The work turns the dark industrial building into a “light and transparent space”, Says Jeannette Schmitz, Managing director of the Gasometer Oberhausen GmbH. This is the second time that Christo chooses this remarkable site for an installation. 1999, he and his wife and artistic pattern created “The Wall”, a wall made from 13,000 oil barrels, 26 meters high. Only a space with the monumental characteristics of the Gasometer could house these impactful installations, truly creating a unique experience for the visitors.
In addition to “Big Air Package”, a retrospective exhibition will be shown in the ground floor of the Gasometer. The exhibit, curated by Peter Pachnicke, will span the last 5 decades of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work, featuring a selection of the most important projects they developed around the world. The show is made up of large-sized photographs, films and sketches of the temporary works of art.
To complete the latest exhibition of Christo, the exhibition space Schloss Oberhausen will display 7 original design drawings of the Big Air Package. This large-format works show the development of the work in Christo’s New York studio from 2010 to 2013, reflecting the complex process behind creating such an impressive and transcendental work of art. As the artist himself reminds, their work has no other purpose “than to create something beautiful. Jeanne-Claude would always say, ‘we only do work of joy and beauty.”
Big Air Package. Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany. From March 16 to December 30, 2013.
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