Christo (American, b. 1935)
Christo (American, b. 1935)

Abu Dhabi Mastaba (Project for the United Arab Emirates)

Christo (American, b. 1935)
Abu Dhabi Mastaba (Project for the United Arab Emirates)
signed, titled, inscribed and dated 'ABU DHABI MASTABA (Project for United Arab Emirates) 2 million stacked oil barrels Christo 1977' (along the lower edge)
pencil, wax crayon, pastel and charcoal on paper
28 x 22in. (71.1 x 55.9cm.)
Executed in 1977
Juda Rowan Gallery, London.
Annely Juda Fine Art, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1988.


To be included in the forthcoming Christo Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by Daniel Varenne, Geneva, under number 214.

A recurring theme in Christo's work over the years, the oil barrel first appeared as an element in his oeuvre in the late 1950s. The present work, executed at the time of the project's conception in 1977, is a preparatory drawing for what promises to be one of the artist's grandest projects. It illustrates Christo's proposed project for the United Arab Emirates which depicts several hundred thousand oil barrels assembled in form and size reminiscent of the great pyramids of Egypt. Entitled The Mastaba: Project for the United Arab Emirates, the project when realized, will be swathed in bright colours reminiscent of Islamic tile mosaics that interact with the vast surrounding desert environment and reflect different effects of light during the day, resulting in an evolving and interactive visual experience for the viewer.