400 works from Christo and Jeanne-Claude's art collection to go on sale

The lots for auction include works by Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Marcel Duchamp

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s studio and home. Photo by Andre Grossman
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With plans to inaugurate a foundation, the estate of Christo and Jeanne-Claude is putting up the duo's art collection for sale at Sotheby's France in February.

Nearly 400 lots will be included in the auction Unwrapped: The Hidden World of Christo & Jeanne-Claude, which is estimated to fetch $4 million in sales.

The artists, who were husband and wife, had collected hundreds of pieces by notable artists over several decades, many of which were displayed in their Manhattan studio.

Works include Andy Warhol's Jackie painting from 1964, estimated at $975,000 to $1.47m; Yves Klein's Untitled Blue Monochrome (IKB 19) from 1958, estimated at $375,00; and Lucio Fontana's 1963 Concetto Spaziale, Attese, dedicated to Jeanne-Claude and expected to sell for $365,000 to $600,000.

Lots also include works by Claes Oldenburg, Marcel Duchamp and Nam June Paik, as well as the Hoge armchair, designed by Gerrit Rietveld from 1919 and given to the couple by a Dutch collector.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's own creations, such as their Storefronts series from the 1960s and works related to their previous projects, The Pont Neuf Wrapped (Project for Pont Neuf, Paris), are also part of the sale.

In June, Christo died of natural causes in New York at the age of 84. Jeanne-Claude had passed away more than a decade earlier in 2009. In his final years, Christo focused on completing their project L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, which envisioned the landmark structure to be enveloped in silver-blue fabric. The project is still on course for late 2021.

This follows the work that they were known for, "wrapping" buildings and monuments in fabric and completing large-scale environmental installations. One of their so-far unrealised projects include The Mastaba in Abu Dhabi, a structure constructed of more than 400,000 oil barrels intended to be set up in the Liwa desert.

The artist Christo, centre, meets with Liwa residents Khalfan Al Qubasi, left, Saeed Al Falahi, right, and Obaid Al Mazrouei, front right, in October 2012, to discuss his plans to construct The Mastaba, a pyramid of 410,000 barrels. Antonie Robertson / The National

In 2012, Christo established the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award in the UAE, which aims to nurture emerging artists in the UAE, particularly students and graduates with proposals for installation artworks.

Presented by New York University Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (Admaf), the award provides the recipients with $10,000 (Dh36,7000) to produce their work, along with a gift of $5,000 (Dh18,350) from Christo himself to fund future projects.