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Christo Gallery     Prints.     Full biography.
Christo Javacheff (1935-
Christo was born in Gabrovo, Bulgaria. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Sofia from 1953 to 1956, when he moved to Prague. In 1957 Christo escaped to Vienna where he lived briefly before moving to Paris. Christo began his wrapped objects in Paris in 1958.
Reichstag Wrapped
Running Fence
Valley Curtain
Pont Neuf Wrapped
Wrapped Coast
Surrounded Islands


On August 10, 1972, in Rifle, Colorado, between Grand Junction and Glenwood Spring in the Grand Hogback Mountain Range, at 11 am, a group of 35 construction workers and 64 temporary helpers, art schools, college students, and itinerant art workers tied down the last of 27 ropes that secured the 12,780 square meters (142,000 square feet) of woven nylon fabric orange Curtain to its moorings at Rifle Gap, 7 miles (11.3 km) north of Rifle, on Highway 325.

Valley Curtain, was designed by Dimiter Zagoroff and John Thomson of Unipolycon of Lynn, Massachusetts, and Dr. Ernest C. Harris of Ken R. White Company, Denver, Colorado. It was built by A-&-H Builders Inc. of Boulder, Colorado,President, Theodore Dougherty, under the site supervision of Henry B. Leininger.

By suspending the Valley Curtain, at a width of 381 meters (1,250 feet) and a height curving from 111 meters (365 feet) at each end to 55.5 meters (182 feet) at the center, the Curtain remained clear of the slopes and the Valley bottom. A 3 meter (10 foot) skirt attached to the lower part of the Curtain visually completed the area between the thimbles and the ground.

An outer cocoon enclosed the fully fitted Valley Curtain, for protection during transit and at the time of its raising into position and securing to the 11 cable clamps connections at the 4 main upper cables. The cables spanned 417 meters (1,368 feet), weighed 49,895 kilograms (110,000 pounds), and were anchored to 720 metric tonnes (792 short tons) of concrete foundations.

An inner cocoon, integral to the Valley Curtain, provided added insurance. The bottom of the Curtain was laced to a 7.6 centimeter (3 inch) diameter dacron rope from which the control and tie-down lines ran to the 27 anchors.

The Valley Curtain, project took 28 months to complete.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's temporary work of art was financed by the Valley Curtain Corporation (Jeanne-Claude Christo-Javacheff, President) through the sale of the studies, preparatory drawings and collages, scale models, early works, and original lithographs.

On August 11, 1972, 28 hours after completion of the, a gale estimated in excess of 100 kph (60 mph) made it necessary to start the removal.
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