All About The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Title of Artwork: “The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park”

All About The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Artwork by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

Year Created 2016 – 2018

Summary of The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park

A remarkable event took place in Hyde Park, London. An amazing view of the park’s centrepiece, the Serpentine, an artificial lake that runs through the middle of it, can be had from the lake’s shores.

There are 7,506 individual oil barrels that come together to form a massive trapezoidal shape that towers high over the tree line and dwarfs the aimless pedalo boats that bob around it.

All About The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park

The London Mastaba is Christo, the impossible-to-conceive-of landscape artist most,’s recent endeavour. It’s his first truly massive piece in the UK, and it stands out as much as any of his other works. (The artwork can be seen in conjunction with a survey exhibition at London’s Serpentine Galleries, which is on view indoors.)

Christo and his late wife Jeanne-Claude have spent the last 57 years developing a body of work that defies categorization and acknowledges no limit to possibilities by consistently pushing the limitations of installation and land art.

Ideas that sound completely outlandish until carried out were realised by the artists using common, inexpensive materials like cloth, tape, and plastic, and by relying on revenue from the sale of drawings and architectural models to sustain their careers.

They have built a 25-mile fence out of nylon panels in California; designed a structure that allowed visitors to walk across an Italian lake; encased the ancient walls of Rome in plastic sheets and rope; filled Central Park with orange fabric “gates;” and created art all around the world.

Christo does not provide explanations for his work (he told the Sunday Times, “We build lovely things, utterly worthless, totally unneeded”) and Jeanne-Claude was, if anything, even less forthcoming before her tragic death. It’s hard to separate their larger goal from an effort to alter our perception of landscape by altering our perspective on it. This work may be transient, but the goals are not.

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