The surrealist artist Man Ray was the first artist to wrap objects as a way of making them strange. Wrapping has the paradoxical effect of concealing an object while accentuating its larger geometry and heightening our curiosity about it, encouraging us to make an imaginative leap in order to interpret what we see or what lies beneath.
Christo began wrapping and packaging objects in the late 1950s. His early works made use of items from daily life – such as books and boxes – which he draped, folded and bound in fabric. Later he collaborated with his wife Jeanne-Claude to wrap entire buildings and environments. While visually the folds of fabric in their works refer to classical forms from art history, the process of wrapping relates more broadly to cultural practices of preserving, shrouding and concealing.
In Wrapped Paintings we assume that the rectangular objects inside the packing are paintings but can only imagine what they look like.
stretched canvases, tarpaulin, rope
300.0 x 162.0 x 18.0 cm
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. verso, pencil "Christo 1968".
Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Not on display
Shown in 6 exhibitions
Christo. John Kaldor Art Project, 1990:
From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia, 12 Dec 1995–17 Mar 1996
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: early works 1958-1969, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, 08 Sep 2001–04 Nov 2001
Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 18 Apr 2003–06 Jul 2003
John Kaldor Family Collection Artist Rooms #1 - Christo:
- Gosford Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gosford 01 Feb 2013–01 Apr 2013
- Glasshouse Regional Gallery, New South Wales 04 Jul 2013–25 Aug 2013
- Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul 13 Sep 2013–01 Dec 2013
- Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre & Liverpool Regional Museum, Casula 09 Dec 2013–26 Jan 2014
Referenced in 6 publications
Anthony Bond OAM (Curator), Landmarks, Katoomba, 2017, 7 (colour illus.), 20.
Sophie Forbat, John Kaldor family collection: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Christo', pg.62-77, Sydney, 2011, 62 (colour illus.), 64, 69 (colour illus.). illustration on page 62 is a detail
Journey to now: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Adelaide, 2003, 40 (colour illus.), 60.
Alexander Tolnay, David Bourdon, Lawrence Alloway and Wolfgang Volz, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: early works 1958-1969, Berlin, 2001.
From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Jeff Koons: John Kaldor art projects and collection, Sydney, 1995, 42 (colour illus.), 82.
Nicholas Baume (Editor), Christo. John Kaldor Art Project, 1990, Sydney, 1990, 60 (colour illus.). cat.no.15