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London | Christo installs a floating pyramid made up of oil barrels in Hyde Park

By RICCARDO BIANCHINI - June 19, 2018

Christo London Mastaba floating installation Hyde Park 2018 01

Entitled London Mastaba, a new sculptural installation by Christo is now afloat on Hyde Park’s  Serpentine Lake.

Consisting of a large number of barrels stacked on a floating platform in a trunked pyramid configuration (the mastaba is a type of semi-pyramidal, flat-roofed ancient Egyptian tomb), the temporary installation will be on view until September 23, 2018.

The sculpture has been created in conjunction with a restrospective exhibition on Christo’s work, entitled Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Barrels and The Mastaba 1958-2018,  running at the Serpentine Gallery nearby until September 9.

Painted in red, white, blue and pink, the over 7,500 55-gallon oil barrels that form the pyramid are supported by a scaffolding fastened to a floating platform made of high-density polyethylene cubes (similar to those Christo used in his Floating Piers installation on Lake Iseo, Italy, two years ago).
The Bulgarian-born artist and his wife have chosen the colors in which the barrels are painted so to create an interplay between the massive sculpture (which is 20 meters high and weights some six hundred tonnes) and the water mirror on which it floats.
After dismantling, the materials of which the installation is made up will be entirely recycled in the UK.

Cover image: view of the London Mastaba installation by Christo from east
All photographs: Wolfgang Volz © 2018 Christo

Christo London Mastaba floating installation Serpentine Lake Hyde Park 2018 06

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The sculpture is 30 meters high x 30 meters wide x 40 meters long, its foorprint takes up about 1% of the total surface area of the Serpentine Lake

Christo London Mastaba floating installation Serpentine Lake Hyde Park 2018 drawing 2

Christo, The Mastaba, drawing, 2018, Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, enamel paint, hand-drawn map on vellum, mylar and tape

Christo London Mastaba floating installation Serpentine Lake Hyde Park 2018 07

Christo London Mastaba floating installation Serpentine Lake Hyde Park 2018 04

Christo London Mastaba floating installation Serpentine Lake Hyde Park 2018 05

Christo London Mastaba floating installation Serpentine Lake Hyde Park 2018 02


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