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Christo

Package on Hand Truck

1973

Artist

Christo (1935-)

Title

Package on Hand Truck

Date

1973

Medium

Metal, tarpaulin, wood and rope

Dimensions

Overall: 50 7/8 × 26 5/8 × 31 3/4 in. (129.2 × 67.6 × 80.6 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Albrecht Saalfield

Accession number

74.74

Object Label

Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude are renowned for their wrapped buildings, bridges, and environmental surfaces. Since 1958, Christo has worked independently on a series entitled Wrapped Objects and Packages, which is intended to be shown indoors—including Package on Hand Truck. Unlike the large-scale public projects he produced with Jeanne-Claude, whose interiors are often known, if not visible, the nips and folds of the workmanlike brown canvas tied with ordinary household rope in Package on Hand Truck are carefully designed to suggest—but never specify—the contents within. Instead, Christo emphasizes the work’s poverty of means, signified by the tarpaulin and common rope as well as by the hand truck, which replaces the noble pedestal of traditional sculpture and insists on the mobility of the object. Our response to it strikes no political chord (as their public projects often do); instead, it sounds a personal note, asking the viewer to decide whether the hidden contents are playful, puzzling, or threatening.

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