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

Hardcover, 11.4 x 10.6 in., 4.08 lb, 208 pages
US$ 50
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Discover Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s latest installation: a spectacular 20-meter-high temporary sculpture made of more than 7,500 multicolored barrels, which coincides with a major exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries. Gathering photography, sketches, models, and designs, this collection is your guide to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s barrel-made installations.

The London Mastaba

A definitive guide to Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s barrel-made installations

In 2018, London’s Hyde Park 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 civilizations of Mesopotamia, which were mud benches with two vertical sides, two slanted sides, and a flat top. Towering at 20 meters high, its 600 metric tons anchored to the Serpentine Lake, this waterborne project gathered 7,506 painted oil barrels to create a floating mosaic of red, white, blue, and mauve.

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 realized, would be Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s greatest achievement and only permanent large-scale work. Situated in the desert and made of 410,000 multicolored barrels, the 150-meter-high sculpture would be the largest in the world, rising higher than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

Designed by Lorenza Giovanelli and Christo, this book gathers drawings, collages, technical data, scale models—many published for the first time—and photographs by Wolfgang Volz to trace Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s 60-year history of barrel artworks.
The artists

Christo and Jeanne-Claude began their collaboration in 1961, and lived in New York City since 1964. Jeanne-Claude died in 2009; Christo died in 2020. Their large-scale projects include Wrapped Coast, Australia, 1968–69; Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970–72; Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972–76; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Florida, 1980–83; The Pont Neuf Wrapped, Paris, 1975–85; The Umbrellas, Japan–USA, 1984–91; Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971–95; Wrapped Trees, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997–98; The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979–2005; The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2014–16 and The London Mastaba, Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park, 2016–18. Christo and Jeanne-Claude's temporary work of art L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Project for Paris is scheduled for September 18–October 3, 2021.

The photographer

Wolfgang Volz has worked with Christo and Jeanne-Claude as the exclusive photographer of their works since 1971. He was also project director (with Roland Specker) for Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971–95 and (with Josy Kraft) for Wrapped Trees, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997–98, and was in charge of The Wall – 13,000 Oil Barrels, Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, 1998–99 and Big Air Package, Gasometer Oberhausen, Germany, 2010–13. His close collaboration has resulted in many books and more than 300 exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world.

The curator

Hans Ulrich Obrist (b. 1968, Zurich, Switzerland) is artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. Prior to this, he was the curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show “World Soup” (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 300 shows.

The author

Paul Goldberger is the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic of The New Yorker, where, since 1997, he has written the "Sky Line" column, and is the author of several books, including Why Architecture Matters (2009) and Christo and Jeanne-Claude (2010, for TASCHEN). He lectures widely on architecture, design, historic preservation and cities, and has taught at both Yale School of Architecture and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

The contributing author

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. He has collaborated on numerous publications about Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The designers

Lorenza Giovanelli studied art history at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. In 2016, she worked as office coordinator and press office assistant during Christo’s last major project The Floating Piers. In 2017, she joined Christo’s team in New York.

Erin Bazos is a New York–based graphic designer and creative director. Since 2010, she has worked with Christo on a variety of projects, including website and exhibition design, print collateral, and multiple facets of The Floating Piers, from the workers’ uniforms, stationery and tourist maps to the project book in collaboration with TASCHEN.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Barrels and The Mastaba 1958–2018
Hardcover, 11.4 x 10.6 in., 4.08 lb, 208 pages
Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Barrels and The Mastaba 1958–2018
Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Barrels and The Mastaba 1958–2018
US$ 50
Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Barrels and The Mastaba 1958–2018
Registry for availability info