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Artist Jeanne-Claude, co-creator of 'The Gates,' dies at 74

November 19, 2009 |  9:12 am

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The artist known as Jeanne-Claude, who along with her husband Christo made wrapping famous structures their artistic calling card, died Wednesday night at a New York hospital from complications of a brain aneurysm, according to reports. She was 74.

Recognizable by her orange-dyed hair, Jeanne-Claude was a fixture of the international art scene and was a highly visible New York personality. Along with Christo, she created "The Gates," a 2005 public art project consisting of 7,503 orange rectangular structures draped with fabric and erected throughout Central Park.

Jeanne-Claude, who was born Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon to a French family in Casablanca, met Christo in 1958 and soon started collaborating on art projects. Their signature style involved wrapping public structures in fabric. In 1964, they moved to New York, where they have been based ever since.

Among the outdoor structures and buildings they wrapped were the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Pont Neuf in Paris; and the Reichstag in Berlin.

One of their most recent projects was "Over the River," which involved fabric panels suspended horizontally above the Arkansas River.

The couple have a son, Cyril, who was born in 1960. 

When asked in a 2002 interview what her favorite among her creations is, Jeanne-Claude replied: "We always say that each one of our projects is a child of ours, and a father and mother who have many children will never tell you which one is their favorite. If people insist that we have to have a favorite one, then we say, 'Okay, you are right, we do have a favorite one and it’s always the next one.'"

-- David Ng

Photo: Christo and Jeanne-Claude answer questions at a LACMA event last year. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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