London's Serpentine to launch 'Summer of Christo and Jeanne-Claude' (VIDEO)

Artist Christo — Picture courtesy of Wolfgang Volz
Artist Christo — Picture courtesy of Wolfgang Volz

LONDON, June 14 — London's Serpentine Galleries are launching a major exhibition of the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude this month that will focus on the duo's long-running barrel artworks, while one of Christo's largest barrel works yet is now taking shape in the neighbouring Serpentine Lake.

On June 19, the Serpentine Galleries will open “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Barrels and The Mastaba 1958-2018,” focusing on works by the artist duo known for their ambitious outdoor sculptural works.

Christo and his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, who died in 2009, began using barrels as a medium in the late 1950s, featuring wrapped paint cans and barrels that paved the way for the wrapped and fabric-based works for which they are now best-known.

The exhibition will feature six decades' worth of sculptures, drawings, collages, scale-models and photographs, going back to their first temporary public installation in Cologne Harbour in 1961 and including unrealized barrel projects at the Suez Canal (1967) and MoMA in New York (1968), as well as plans for “The Mastaba,” their most ambitious sculpture yet in the Middle East, conceived in 1977.

Meanwhile, Christo will present his newest temporary exhibition on the nearly Serpentine Lake. “The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park Serpentine Lake)” is a pyramidal sculpture consisting of more than 7,000 55-gallon barrels, specially fabricated for the sculpture and painted in red and white on the sides, and in hues of red, blue and mauve on the ends.

Built by a team of engineers, “The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake)” will stand 20 metres high, 30 metres wide and 40 metres long and weigh 500 tons.


Christo, who is funding the project through the sale of his artworks, said back in April when construction began, “The London Mastaba in Hyde Park will be absolutely free to the public — no tickets, no reservations and no owners. It will belong to everyone (until it's gone).”

The sculpture is set to launch on June 18, a day before the exhibition's opening, and will remain on display through September 23. The exhibition runs through September 9. — AFP-Relaxnews

The London Mastaba: Installation from Christo and Jeanne-Claude on Vimeo.

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