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.