Presto Christo!

Christo and Jeanne-Claude are coming to Austin for the Austin Museum of Art, which has just gotten a splashy new look

Now that he has that pesky little Central Park project out of the way, Christo should be free to pay Austin a little visit – and so he will, though not for several months. The creator of The Gates and his artistic partner, Jeanne-Claude, are scheduled to swing through town next January when the Austin Museum of Art hosts an exhibition of their works. Drawn from the Würth Museum in Kunzelsau, Germany, which has the second-largest holding of the artistic team's work in Europe, "Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Würth Museum Collection" is a touring exhibit of 75 works, including preparatory work for The Gates, early wrapped objects, a scale model of Wrapped Reichstag, developmental drawings, collages, and large-scale photographs of completed projects such as Wrapped Coast, Valley Curtain, Running Fence, The Pont Neuf Wrapped, and Surrounded Islands. The artists won't be here long enough to wrap anything larger than an armadillo, but perhaps they'll have time to uncover some of the hows and whys behind their monumental temporary works. The exhibition runs Jan. 28-April 30, 2006.

Speaking of AMOA, the museum has adopted a splashy new look. A new logo takes its cue from Mondrian, with blocks of color set within the thick sans serif letters of the museum's acronym: a yellow triangle in the center of the first upper-case "A"; a gray triangle above the diagonal arms of the uppercase "M"; a red circle within the lowercase "o"; and a blue triangle in the center of the second uppercase "A." Set on a black rectangle, the logo plays cleverly with negative space and geometric figures, while offering a playful nod to art history and modernism. And there's no better place to see it than on the front of AMOA's downtown home, where it adds a much-needed shot of color to the dreary brown facade of 823 Congress. After more than eight years at the location and with no other permanent downtown facility in the offing at present, AMOA has finally embraced its space on the corner of Ninth and Congress, installing a shiny new nameplate above the entry and a series of panels on the second story facing the Avenue that include the new logo and photographs of works of art from previous exhibitions and museumgoers engaged in AMOA activities. Really puts a new face on the facility and makes one want to check it out. For more information, call 495-9224 or visit

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The Gates, Jeanne-Claude, Austin Museum of Art, Würth Museum, Christo, "Christo and Jeanne-Claude:The Würth Museum Collection", Wrapped Coast, Valley Curtain, Running Fence, The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Surrounded Islands, Wrapped Reichstag, Wrapped Trees.

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