the london mastaba, a temporary sculpture by world-renowned artist christo, has opened in london’s hyde park. the public work, which consists of horizontally stacked colorful barrels on a floating platform, will be on view until september 23, 2018 on the park’s serpentine lake. the project is the first major outdoor public work by christo in the UK, and coincides with an exhibition at the serpentine galleries of christo and his late wife jeanne–claude’s work, which runs until september 9, 2018.

christo london mastaba
image by wolfgang volz © 2018 christo

 

 

christo’s ‘london mastaba’, the construction of which began in april 2018, comprises 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels on a floating platform, 20 metres (65.5 ft) high x 30 metres (90 ft) wide (at the 60° slanted walls) x 40 metres (130 ft) long. standard 55 gallon barrels, 59 x 88 cm (2 ft x 3 ft), were fabricated and painted for the sculpture, while the sides of the barrels, visible on the top and on the two slanted walls of the sculpture, are red and white. the ends of the barrels, visible on the two vertical walls, are blue, mauve and a different hue of red.

christo london mastaba
image by wolfgang volz © 2018 christo

 

 

the sculpture’s floating platform is made of interlocking high-density polyethylene (HDPE) cubes and is held in place with 32 6-tonne anchors. the barrel-supporting substructure consists of scaffolding and a steel frame that connects to the floating platform. its total weight is 600 tonnes and its footprint takes up approximately 1% of the total surface area of the lake.

christo london mastaba
image by wolfgang volz © 2018 christo

 

 

importantly, all construction materials are certified as having low environmental impact to preserve the lake’s ecosystem. while some equipment and materials, such as scaffolding, have been rented and will be returned, the other materials will be removed and industrially recycled in the UK following the project. the ‘london mastaba’ is being entirely funded by christo, through the sale of his own works. no public money is used for christo’s projects and he does not accept sponsorship.

christo london mastaba
image by wolfgang volz © 2018 christo

 

 

‘for three months, the london mastaba will be a part of hyde park’s environment in the centre of london,’ says christo. ‘the colors will transform with the changes in the light and its reflection on the serpentine lake will be like an abstract painting. it has been a pleasure to work with the royal parks to realize the london mastaba and with our friends at the serpentine galleries to create an exhibition showing jeanne-claude’s and my 60-year history of using barrels in our work.’

 

 

installation of the london mastaba, featuring 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels


image by wolfgang volz


image by wolfgang volz


image by wolfgang volz


drawing 2018 in two parts | 15 x 96″ and 42 x 96″ (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, hand-drawn map on vellum, technical data, mylar and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2018 christo


drawing 2017 in two parts | 30 1/2 x 26″ and 30 1/2 x 12″ (77.5 x 66.7 cm and 77.5 x 30.5 cm)
pencil, charcoal, pastel, enamel paint, hand-drawn technical data, map on vellum and tape
photo by andré grossmann © 2017 christo

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