Christo From Gabrovo to the Arc de Triomphe

the story of a childhood and first artistic steps which formed one of the most recognizable artists of the 20th and 21st centuries

30 hitherto rarely shown artworks, photographs and facsimiles from the early years of Gabrovo-born Christo were shown from September 17th to November 30th, 2021 at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute’s gallery in Paris. Christo. From Gabrovo to the Arc de Triomphe was a documentary exhibition telling the story of the Yavashev family, Christo’s earliest childhood years and the young artist’s first artistic endeavors and offering a rare chance to the visitor for a peek at a less known part of the artist’s biography – his “Bulgarian period”. Among the exhibits were personal photos provided by family members and documents from the Bulgarian state archive and other institutions. On display were also early works of Christo Yavashev from his student years, as well as fond remembrances from friends and peers. The exhibition traces Christo’s formation as one of the most recognizable and innovative artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, before the 21-year-old embarked on the lonely and risky journey of an immigrant artist beyond the Iron Curtain.

The exhibition was concurrent with the long-awaited project The Arc de Triomphe. Wrapped.

The exhibition Christo. From Gabrovo to the Arc de Triomphe was realized by the Museum of Humor and Satire and the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris, with support from Gabrovo Municipality and the Ministry of Culture.

photos: Martina Deneva © 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Center, Gabrovo

Exhibits and materials kindly provided by:

Daniela and Anani Yavashev, Elka and Stefan Yavashev, Evgenia Atanasova-Teneva, Geo Kukudov, Dragan Nemtsov, Nedyalko Danov, State archive – Gabrovo, Regional History Museum – Gabrovo

Curator: Margarita Dorovska
Texts: Evgenia Atanasova-Teneva
Research: Evgenia Atanasova-Teneva, Elena Nikolova, Margarita Dorovska, Our Greater Gabrovo Association
Translation to French: Stanimir Delchev
Translation to English: Traci Speed
Exhibition and graphic design: Martina Deneva