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Running Fence, drawing 1976


Running Fence, photograph 1976
 
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Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Running Fence traversed Sonoma and Marin Counties in northern California from 10 to 23 September 1976. Inspired in part by fencing that demarcated the continental divide in Colorado, the fence was 18 feet high and followed a 24 1/2-mile-long-serpentine path through hilly pasturelands into Bodega Bay.

First conceived in 1972, Running Fence took more than four years to realize. For the installation, the artists obtained permission for land use from the counties and fifty-nine ranching families; they also filed an Environmental Impact Report as stipulated by the Coastal Commission. In April 1976, construction finally began. In early September, the artists working with nearly 400 people installed the nylon fabric panels. This brilliant white fence threaded through the landscape like a "ribbon of light."

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