This summer London will play host to The Mastaba (Project for London, Hyde Park, Serpentine Lake), Christo’s latest ground-breaking installation and his first public outdoor project in the United Kingdom. Composed of 7,506 painted barrels, the trapezoidal structure will float majestically on the surface of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park. This Mastaba will coincide with a Serpentine Gallery exhibition examining his extraordinary half-century collaboration with his late wife Jeanne-Claude. To compliment these events, Stern Pissarro Gallery will hold a special exhibition entitled "Christo and Jeanne-Claude: A Life of Projects".
The pioneering and distinctive work of contemporary environmental artists Christo (b. 1935) and Jeanne-Claude (1935-2009) has consistently delighted and thrilled admirers from across the world. Their innovative and ambitious work – made according to Christo entirely for pleasure - is famously monumental in scale and often both conceals and reveals ‘space’ in new and surprising ways. Temporary in nature, the projects are funded entirely by the artists through their sale of original works by Christo.
We don’t have a philosophy of art. What is it that Christo and Jeanne-Claude do? We wish to create works of art, works of joy and of beauty. As with every true work of art, it has absolutely no purpose whatsoever: it is not a message, it is not a symbol, it is only a work of art. And like every true artist, we create those works of art for us and our collaborators.
Showcasing rare original works, Stern Pissarro Gallery will focus on their most famous projects and provide a unique opportunity to understand what Christo and Jeanne-Claude defined as their ‘software period’. Highlights include original works from their early Wrapped Objects series (1958-69) and their now-iconic wrapped buildings, The Pont Neuf Wrapped, 1985 and the Wrapped Reichstag (Project for Berlin), 1995. Other highlights include work for the Surrounded Islands (Project for Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida), 1983 that involved weaving walkways of synthetic pink fabric around 11 islands, Valley Curtain (Project for Colorado), 1971, Over the River (Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado), 1992, and the recent 2016 project Floating Piers (Project for Lake Iseo, Italy).
Marking Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s legacy as one of the most influential artistic duos of the 20th and 21st century, the exhibition at Stern Pissarro features major works for sale and on loan. David Stern, co-owner of the gallery comments, "Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s unique artistic language continues to evolve the boundaries of painting, sculpture and architecture. Taking us on a journey from their early experiments to the present day, our gallery exhibition offers a rich addition to the Christo festivities this summer."