World renowned artist Christo has opened his first major outdoor public work in the UK, The London Mastaba. Situated in Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lake, the 20m x 30m x 40m sculpture consists of 7,506 horizontally stacked barrels on a floating platform, creating a trapezium with a pixelated-effect facade of vivid mauve, red and blue circles. It weighs 600 tonnes and its footprint takes up 1% of the total surface area of the lake.
The vast work, which has been attracting crowds since installers first began building it in April, officially launched today and coincides with an exhibition of Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude’s work at the Serpentine Galleries opening tomorrow (19 June) – both free to the public.
Christo said at the launch: “For three months, The London Mastaba will be a part of Hyde Park’s environment in the centre of London. The colours 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 realise 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.”
The London Mastaba is on view until 23 September.