The “London Mastaba” has opened in Hyde Park. A temporary sculpture floating on the Serpentine Lake, the project is the first major public outdoor sculpture in the United Kingdom designed by the artist Christo. The opening comes as new photographs by Wolfgang Volz are released which chart the construction and completion of the striking art piece.
Featuring 7,506 horizontally-stacked barrels floating on the Serpentine Lake, the Mastaba coincides with an exhibition of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work at the Serpentine Galleries featuring sculptures, drawings, collages, and photographs spanning more than 60 years.
Volz’s photographs document the construction of the scheme built to a height of 65 feet (20 meters) by a team of engineers. The barrels were specifically fabricated and painted for the sculpture, a blend of red, white, blue and mauve. The sculpture sits on a floating platform made of high-density polyethylene cubes held with weighted anchors, with a steel scaffolding frame giving the sculpture rigidity.
Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the exhibition will be the artists’ first in a UK public institution since 1979 and will showcase their long-running exploits with barrel forms, chosen initially for their sculptural effect and low cost.
The Mastaba has been supported by The Royal Parks, Westminster Council, and BlueBird Boats, but was funded by Christo, without the use of public money. The project is free for all to view from June 18th to September 23rd, at which point a majority of the materials comprising the sculpture will be removed and industrially recycled in the UK.
The Mastaba's opening comes amidst a flurry of activity at Hyde Park, with the opening of the 2018 Serpentine Pavilion by Frida Escobedo taking place in the previous week.
News via: Christo and Jeanne-Claude