Christo. Early Works

6 Oct 2023 – 22 Oct 2023

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

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Gagosian Open

England, United Kingdom

Event map

I was l’étranger, the foreigner, I was a refugee, I was stateless. —Christo


Gagosian is pleased to announce a presentation of early works by Christo at 4 Princelet Street in the Spitalfields area of London, curated by Elena Geuna. The exhibition is the inaugural project in the Gagosian Open series of off-site projects and will remain open every day from October 6 to 22.

Gagosian Open is a new program of ambitious temporary projects sited beyond the walls of the gallery that allows audiences to experience remarkable artworks in unusual contexts. For the first presentation in the series, early works by Christo will be set in dialogue with a Grade II–listed Georgian house in London’s East End. Foreshadowing the artist’s large-scale temporary public projects, these sculptural works see everyday objects veiled in fabric or plastic and bound with rope or twine. They present an artist who, even at this formative stage of his career, was responding creatively to domestic and urban environments, drawing attention to overlooked details by obscuring them from view.

Alluding to the safeguarding of personal belongings, the works, most of which are from the 1960s and 1970s, also speak to ideas of movement, migration, and preservation. The artist’s mixed heritage and experience as a political refugee, daringly escaping Stalin-era Bulgaria to Prague, then relocating to Vienna, Geneva, Paris, and eventually New York, defined him as an eternal wanderer—“l’étranger,” as he referred to himself. This is echoed by the history of 4 Princelet Street itself as a house that has been home to successive migrant families. The property was first constructed in 1723 to house Huguenot migrants—the UK’s first refugees. The area has since welcomed Irish linen workers, Eastern European Jews, Jews from the Netherlands, and most recently members of Spitalfields’ large Bangladeshi community.

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