Chris Burden was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1946. He moved to the California in 1965 and obtained a B.F.A at Pomona College, Claremont, California in 1969 and later a M.F.A at the University of California in 1971. During the early seventies, Burden’s first mature works were characterized by the idea that the truly important, viable art of the future would not be with objects; the things that you could simply sell and hang on your wall. Instead art would be ephemeral and address political, social, environmental and technological change. Burden, with his shockingly simple, unforgettable, "here and now" performances shook the conventional art world and took this new art form to its extreme. The images of Burden that continue to resonate in public mind are of a young man who had himself shot (Shoot, 1971), locked up (Five Day Locker Piece, 1971), electrocuted, (Doorway to Heaven, 1973), cut (Through the Night Softly, 1973), crucified (Trans-fixed, 1974), and advertised on television (4 TV Ads, 1937–77).Read More
His work has subsequently shifted, focusing now on monumental sculptures and large scale installations, such as B-Car, 1975, The Big Wheel, 1979, A Tale of Two Cities, 1981, Beam Drop, 1984, Samson, 1985, Medusa’s Head, 1990, L.A.P.D. Uniforms, 1993, Urban Light, 2008 and Metropolis II, 2010. These works often reflect the social environments, make observations about cultural institutions, and examine the boundaries of science and technology.
Chris Burden works and lives in California and has been represented by Gagosian Gallery since 1991. He has had major retrospectives at the Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, California (1988) and the MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna (1996). In 1999 Burden exhibited at the 48th Venice Biennale and the Tate Gallery in London. And in the summer of 2008, Burden’s 65 foot tall skyscraper made of one million Erecter set parts, titled What My Dad Gave Me, stood in front of Rockefeller Center, New York City. Burden’s installations and sculptures, which have been exhibited all over the world, have continually challenged viewers’ beliefs and attitudes about art and the contemporary world.
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In 1974, [Chris Burden] released his Deluxe Photo Book 1971-73, a self-published catalogue of twenty-three early performances represented by concise narrative descriptions of the works coupled wiRead More Related Press A documentary tribute to Chris Burden’s extreme oeuvre 21 April 2016, Hyperallergic
Perhaps most surprising about the new film Burden, directed by Timothy Marrinan and Richard Dewey and screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, is its depiction of artist Chris Burden’s dramatic transformation from a rabble-rousing student in the 1970s to a mild-mannered landowner in 2014. The film explores Burden’s oeuvre project by...Read More Related Press Mind the gap: Gagosian New York presents a host of Chris Burden's bridges 8 February 2016, Wallpaper*
When New York City's New Museum staged its 2013 retrospective for the late sculptor Chris Burden, some of the most arresting pieces of work were several intricately realised bridge constructions that debuted during the show. While those structures spanned the width of the room, a selection of Burden’s small-scale bridges is currently...Read More Related Press Chris Burden dies at 69: artist's light sculpture at LACMA is symbol of L.A. 12 May 2015, The LA Times
When he had himself shot in the arm for a performance piece at a Santa Ana gallery, Chris Burden became fleetingly famous. But years later, when he created such outsized, imagination-charged works as Urban Light, the ranks of vintage lampposts tightly arrayed outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, he left a longer-lasting legacy.Read More