Kirkus Reviews QR Code
CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE by Jan Greenberg Kirkus Star


Through the Gates and Beyond

by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59643-071-6
Publisher: Roaring Brook

In an immoderately engaging profile of arguably the most visible and widely known public artists alive today, Greenberg and Jordan retrace the duo’s career and capture a sense of the wonder that their large-scale projects evoke. Born on the same day in the same year but on different continents, Christo and Jeanne-Claude met in Paris, and in the nearly five decades since they have beguiled millions of viewers by wrapping buildings and islands, erecting miles-long fences and huge curtains of fabric—and perhaps most impressively, displaying throughout an “uncanny knack for drawing people into the process” of turning their visions into tangible works. Based largely on interviews with the artists, this perceptive study is illustrated with big, eye-filling color photos—capped by a terrific foldout view of Christo at work in his shabby (last painted in 1964), cluttered New York studio. Quoting Jeanne-Claude’s provocative “It has no purpose. It is not a symbol. It is not a message,” the authors challenge readers/viewers in simple but never simplistic language to think long thoughts about the nature of art and their own personal responses to it. (endnotes, multimedia resources, partial list of projects) (Biography. 10-13)