In 2018, London was home to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s latest installation: The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake). The temporary sculpture took cues from mastabas of the first urban civilisations of Mesopotamia, which were mud benches with two vertical sides, two slanted sides and a flat top.
The most ambitious of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s barrel works to date, The London Mastaba is a precursor to the duo’s work in progress The Mastaba (Project for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates). First conceived in 1977, The Mastaba for Abu Dhabi, if realised, would be their greatest achievement and only permanent large-scale work. Situated in the desert and made of 410,000 multicoloured barrels, the 150-meter-high sculpture would be the largest in the world, rising higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza.
About the Artists
Christo and Jeanne-Claude were a collaborative artist duo known for their monumental environmental installations. Best remembered in the public’s mind for wrapping architecture and natural elements in fabric, their works were often unprecedented in scale. Their temporary work of art L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Project for Paris is scheduled for September 18–October 3, 2021.
About the Author
Paul Goldberger is an author and the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic of The New Yorker. He also lectures widely on architecture, design, historic preservation and cities.
Adam Blackbourn has been a member of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s working family since 2006. In addition to his work as an artist and writer, he and his partner Ruei Ji run the Chinese-to-English translation studio Bacon Translations.
About the Publisher
Founded in 1980 by Benedikt Taschen in a small comic-book shop, TASCHEN is an international carbon neutral art publisher specialising in books on art, architecture, design, fashion, film and travel with the mission is to excite and delight enthusiasts. TASCHEN books are not simply words and pictures, they are experiences that unfold, mesmerise, stimulate and provoke with brilliant covers, bindings, photography, illustrations, colours and typography.