Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s final work, L‘Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, is preserved in a new limited-edition book

A new book ‘Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris’, published by Taschen, chronicles how the artists’ final work, 60 years in the making, came to fruition

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s final project, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, preserved in new limited-edition book
Spread from new book Christo and Jeanne-Claude. L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen with photography by Wolfgang Volz
(Image credit: Taschen)

Even in the final year of Christo’s life, he was working towards wrapping Paris' entire Arc de Triomphe in great swathes of shimmering, silvery-blue fabric. The ambitious work, titled L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped and 60 years in the making, became a reality in September 2021, also featuring in the Sotheby’s exhibition, a year after the artist died aged 84.  

A new limited-edition book, published by Taschen, narrates the behind-the-scenes story of this monumental project, which was conceived by Christo and his life partner Jeanne-Claude. The pair met in Paris in 1958 and were best known for site-specific work that consumed monumental landmarks and environmental sites in fabric. 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s final project, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, preserved in new limited-edition book

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

What Christo referred to as ‘gentle disturbances’ were radical alterations to landscapes and cityscapes. Gentle, perhaps, in their ephemerality, but not in their visual impact. As Christo once said, ‘Each of our projects is like a slice of our life, myself and Jeanne-Claude. And the journey is so exciting, it is an adventure in the real world.’

The new book, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, is published in an edition of 2,000. Spanning 450 pages designed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s studio in close collaboration with Taschen, the book chronicles in stunning detail how L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped went from early fantasy to final, mindblowing installation, which was seen by 6 million viewers over 16 days on Place de l’Étoile (and was also the subject of a the Sotheby’s exhibition, ‘The Final Christo‘ during the same period). 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s final project, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, preserved in new limited-edition book

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

This substantial tome offers a permanent tribute to a fleeting installation that formed a spectacular finale to the duo’s epic career. 

For those eager to own their own piece of art history, a Limited Collector's Edition of 2,500 copies is also available, signed by project photographer Wolfgang Volz (who has worked with Christo and Jeanne-Claude as exclusive photographer of their works since 1971), each accompanied by a 24 x 24 cm swatch of the original silver fabric, alongside two different artist editions. 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s final project, Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, preserved in new limited-edition book

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

Book cover of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021, published by Taschen

(Image credit: Taschen)

Christo and Jeanne-Claude. L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, is now available, £350. taschen.com (opens in new tab)

Harriet Lloyd-Smith is the Arts Editor of Wallpaper*, responsible for the art pages across digital and print, including profiles, exhibition reviews, and contemporary art collaborations. She started at Wallpaper* in 2017 and has written for leading contemporary art publications, auction houses and arts charities, and lectured on review writing and art journalism. When she’s not writing about art, she’s making her own.