February 16, 2005Spied by a satellite, "The Gates" snake
through 23 miles (37 kilometers) of Central Park paths like so many
orange dominoes. Devised by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, this
largest artwork in New York City history consists of 7,300 16-foot-
tall (5-meter-tall) arches draped with fabric panels. Unfurled on
Saturday, "The Gates" will close forever on February 27.
Lifelong partners, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have become among the most geographical of artists, transforming entire landscapes, albeit temporarily. Their "Running Fence" cut a 25-mile (40-kilometer) swath of nylon through northern California in 1976. In 1983 they literally skirted islands off Miami with millions of square feet of hot pink polypropylene. More recently they have wrapped some iconic edifices in acres of fabric, including Paris's Pont Neuf in beige (1985) and Berlin's Reichstag in silver (1995).
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