The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake / Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Barrels and The Mastaba 1958–2018

Christo & Jeanne-Claude

20 Jun 2018

The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake), 2016-18

Serpentine Lake, London

18.6 – 23.9.2018


Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Barrels and The Mastaba 1958–2018

Serpentine Gallery, London

19.6 – 9.9.2018



Christo has created a temporary sculpture in Hyde Park, London. This is Christo’s first major public, outdoor work in the UK. The temporary sculpture coincides with an exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work, which includes sculptures, drawings, collages and photographs spanning more than 60 years. The sculpture and the exhibition both draw on Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s history of using barrels to create works of art.


Since the late 1960s, Christo has sought a suitable site for a floating Mastaba. The temporary sculpture in Hyde Park consists of 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels on a floating platform in the Serpentine Lake. It is 20 meters high x 30 meters wide (at the 60° slanted walls) x 40 meters  long. The standard 55 gallon barrels, 59 x 88 cm, have been specifically fabricated and painted for this sculpture. The sides of the barrels, visible on the top and on the two slanted walls of the sculpture, are painted red and white. The ends of the barrels, visible on the two vertical walls, are different hues of red, blue, and mauve.


The sculpture’s floating platform is being made of high-density polyethylene cubes anchored to the lakebed with weighted anchors. A primary steel scaffolding frame was constructed on top of the platform and the barrels are attached to a scaffold sub structure. The total weight is 600 metric tons. The footprint of the sculpture takes up approximately 1% of the total surface area of the lake.


As with all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects,The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016-18 is being funded entirely through the sale of Christo’s original works of art. No public money is used for Christo’s projects and he does not accept sponsorship.


+ info