P07640 Der Spiegel 1963
Folded magazine wrapped in transparent plastic and tied with string, 12 × 4 1/2 (305 × 115), wrapped and tied by the artist, published by Hans Moller, Düsseldorf, in an edition of 130
Inscribed ‘Christo 63’ b.r. and ‘96’
Purchased at Sotheby's, Los Angeles (Grant-in-Aid) 1982
Lit: Per Hovdenakk, Christo Complete Editions 1964–82, Munich 1982, no.1
Christo's first wrapped works were made in 1958 (see T03290, Tate Gallery Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1980–82, pp.63–4), using cloth, or polythene for those in which he wanted to show the contents of the work. He made his first wrapped magazine in 1961. Other unique works related to ‘Der Spiegel’ include a wrapped post-card vending stand and magazines on a wire rack, both made in 1963. For the series ‘Edition Original 1’ in which Hans Moller published the work of fifteen artists, Christo wrapped 130 different copies of the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The work was a gesture of thanks to Moller, who had allowed Christo and his wife to share his apartment in Dusseldorf while Christo was preparing an exhibition at the Alfred Schmela Gallery in 1963. The Tate's work is the issue for Wednesday 7 October 1959, with a cover picture of the famous photo-collage of Salvador Dali as the Mona Lisa, from Dali's Mustache by Dali and Philippe Halsman, New York 1954, an interview in the form of questions with pictorial answers. The image is in answer to the question ‘Dali, what do you see when you see the Mona Lisa?’ and is captioned ‘A Paragon of Beauty’. The Dali image relates to Marcel Duchamp's ‘L.H.O.O.Q.’, a reproduction of the Mona Lisa with a small moustache and beard added; Duchamp's first version was made in 1919. The article in Der Spiegel is about the Mona Lisa as universally known symbol and as a vehicle for parodies of various kinds. The cover picture, with all its connotations of notoriety, art as news, as personality cult and as high-priced commodity is not hidden or disguised but transformed by being wrapped.
This entry has been approved by the artist.
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986