artist christo has unveiled plans to construct a floating ‘mastaba’ structure in london’s hyde park, which could reach more than 20 meters (65 feet) in height. the new york times reports that the temporary design, to be made from 7,506 oil barrels, will float on the serpentine lake, behind kensington palace. ‘the exciting part of the project is that it’s detached from the urban landscape,’ says christo. ‘you have this incredible vegetation and open area.’

christo floating mastaba london
according to the new york times, local authorities have approved the proposal
image © christo and jeanne-claude (also main image)



the realization of christo’s design will coincide with an exhibition documenting the work of the bulgarian-born artist and his late wife jeanne-claude. to be held at the adjacent serpentine galleries, the display will run from june 20 until september 9, 2018. the institution is working closely with christo to develop an exhibition of sculptures, drawings, and photographs spanning more than 50 years of work.

christo floating mastaba london
the floating structure will be over 20 meters (65 feet) in height
image © christo and jeanne-claude



in 2016, christo completed a floating dock wrapped in shimmering yellow fabric that connected various points on italy’s lake iseo. early last year, christo cancelled plans for a monumental installation over the arkansas river to focus on another mastaba-shaped structure planned for abu dhabi — christo and jeanne-claude’s only permanent large-scale work.

christo floating mastaba london
christo and jeanne-claude. wall of oil barrels – the iron curtain, rue visconti, paris, 1961-62
photo: jean-dominique lajoux © 1962 christo

christo floating mastaba london
the exhibition will be on view at the serpentine gallery from june 20 – september 9, 2018
photo: wolfgang volz

  • … comparing with another oeuvre of the artist, the famous “wrapping of the Reichstag´s building in Berlin, the act preceding its´ conversion to the residence of the “Bundestag” (the federal parliament of reunited Germany…) we should inquire, what would the subliminal message of oil barrels; forming a kind of “mastaba”; colored in some of British national colors mean, while floating on the Thames, in the “post-brexit” London…

    Ladislav Kubo says:

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