November 9, 2011

Over the River has been in the works since 1992, when the artists Christo and the late Jeanne-Claude first started traveling around the Rocky Mountains in search of a river to cover. Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management approved the artists’ vision to suspend 5.9 miles of fabric panels in eight separate areas along a 42-mile stretch of the Arkansas River in southern Colorado. Construction will likely begin in the summer of 2012.

I wandered around the artists’ The Gates project when it was in Central Park in New York in 2005. At the time, I remember feeling somewhat underwhelmed. The orange flags were beautiful but somehow less than impressive, I thought. And yet, six years later, I still find myself thinking about the experience. I have no doubt visitors to this project will remember their trip for a lifetime.

Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado), Collage 2010, 17 x 22” (43.2 x 55.9 cm), Pencil, enamel paint, wax crayon, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, topographic map, fabric sample and tape, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the artist (Photo: André Grossmann) © 2010 Christo

Christo, Over the River (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado), Drawing 1999, 22 x 28” (55.9 x 71.1 cm), Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon and pastel (Photo: Wolfgang Volz) © 1999 Christo

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