ARThound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

The Running Fence at 33–Christo and Jeanne-Claude visit Sonoma County September 12, 2009

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76, Photo: Wolfgang Voltz @1976 Christo

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76, Photo: Wolfgang Voltz @1976 Christo

ARThound is SO happy that Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Running Fence (1972-76), the project that inspired my great love of art and graced our golden hills in 1976 is in the limelight again.  We will have a chance to meet Christo and Jeanne-Claude Saturday, September 12, 2009, when they speak in Bloomfield about their experiences with fence.

 The Running Fence was monumental in all regards–a lyrical white fabric curtain twenty-four and one-half miles long and eighteen feet high that linked Cotati at Highway 101 to the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay.  Few stories are more inspirational in the artworld that that of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s struggle to persuade Sonoma and Marin County locals to proceed with this grand project which began in 1972 and was completed on September 10, 1976.  It took forty-two months of collaborative effort, two-hundred and forty thousand yards (over two million square feet) of heavy woven white nylon fabric, ninety miles of steel cable, two thousand and fifty poles embedded three feet into the ground, and fourteen thousand earth anchors.  The de-installation began two weeks after the fence was completed, and all materials were removed entirely from the site and given to local ranchers. This whole experience—the hearings, the media coverage, the building of the fence, seeing the fence several times daily, the post-event sale of pieces of the fence–was a memorable part of my

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Runnng Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California 1972-76, Photo: Jeanne-Claude @1976 Christo

Christo and Jeanne-Claude Runnng Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California 1972-76, Photo: Jeanne-Claude @1976 Christo

childhood.   Christo, at the time, described the project as “a celebration of the landscape” and indeed it was perhaps the first large-scale art project focusing on the natural beauty of rural northern California landscape, a route has since become a famous tourist destination.  It will be a pleasure to welcome back the couple that introduced our unique landscape to the artworld. 

 Among commemorative projects in the works “The Running Fence Revisited Proposal,” a collaboration between the Sonoma County Museum and Wowhaus to publish a book and mount an exhibition exploring all aspects of the fence.   Filmmaker Wolfram Hissen, who did the documentary  “To the German People:  The Wrapped Reichstag”  is also making a film about the Running Fence, out 2010.   

 “The Running Fence at 33” 2 to 5 pm, Saturday, September 12, Bloomfield Park, 6700 Bloomfield Road, between Petaluma and Valley Ford.

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September 3, 2009 Posted by | Art | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments