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Extended through September 19, 2015

Chris Burden

April 25–September 19, 2015
Le Bourget

Installation view Artwork © Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Installation view

Artwork © Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Works Exhibited

Chris Burden, Porsche with Meteorite, 2013 Restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390-pound meteorite, and steel structure© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Porsche with Meteorite, 2013

Restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390-pound meteorite, and steel structure
© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Porsche with Meteorite, 2013 Restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390-pound meteorite, and steel structure© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Porsche with Meteorite, 2013

Restored 1974 Porsche 914, 390-pound meteorite, and steel structure
© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Three Arch Dry Stack Bridge, ¼ Scale, 2013 974 hand-cast concrete blocks and wood base, 46 × 332 ½ × 21 inches (116.8 × 844.6 × 53.3 cm)© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Three Arch Dry Stack Bridge, ¼ Scale, 2013

974 hand-cast concrete blocks and wood base, 46 × 332 ½ × 21 inches (116.8 × 844.6 × 53.3 cm)
© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Three Arch Dry Stack Bridge, ¼ Scale, 2013 (detail) 974 hand-cast concrete blocks and wood base, 46 × 332 ½ × 21 inches (116.8 × 844.6 × 53.3 cm)© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Three Arch Dry Stack Bridge, ¼ Scale, 2013 (detail)

974 hand-cast concrete blocks and wood base, 46 × 332 ½ × 21 inches (116.8 × 844.6 × 53.3 cm)
© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Tyne Bridge Kit, 2004 Powder-coated and made-to-order Meccano metal toy construction parts with wood cabinet on casters, 42 ½ × 65 ½ × 32 ¼ inches (108 × 166.4 × 81.9 cm), edition of 2© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Tyne Bridge Kit, 2004

Powder-coated and made-to-order Meccano metal toy construction parts with wood cabinet on casters, 42 ½ × 65 ½ × 32 ¼ inches (108 × 166.4 × 81.9 cm), edition of 2
© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Pair of Namur Mortars, 2013 Bronze casting of accurate reproduction of 17th-century Namur mortar, in wood and iron cradle, with 4 stone cannonballs; each cannonball, diameter: 18 inches (45.7 cm); overall dimensions variable© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Pair of Namur Mortars, 2013

Bronze casting of accurate reproduction of 17th-century Namur mortar, in wood and iron cradle, with 4 stone cannonballs; each cannonball, diameter: 18 inches (45.7 cm); overall dimensions variable
© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Pair of Namur Mortars, 2013 (detail) Bronze casting of accurate reproduction of 17th-century Namur mortar, in wood and iron cradle, with 4 stone cannonballs; each cannonball, diameter: 18 inches (45.7 cm); overall dimensions variable© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

Chris Burden, Pair of Namur Mortars, 2013 (detail)

Bronze casting of accurate reproduction of 17th-century Namur mortar, in wood and iron cradle, with 4 stone cannonballs; each cannonball, diameter: 18 inches (45.7 cm); overall dimensions variable
© Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Thomas Lannes

About

“Limits” is a relative term. Like beauty, it is often in the eye of the beholder.
—Chris Burden

Gagosian Paris is pleased to present works by Chris Burden, in his first exhibition in Paris in more than twenty years.

Since the 1970s, Burden has channeled the daring spirit of his early life-threatening performances into sculptures that embody technical feats on an imposing scale. Toys (figurines, train sets, Erector parts) are used as the building blocks for expansive scale models, cities, and battlefields, while actual vehicles (ships, trucks, and cars) are suspended or set in motion in surreal and improbable ways.

Since 2003 Burden has constructed large-scale models of bridges—both real and imagined—by plotting thousands of toy construction parts. Tower of London Bridge (2003) mimics every aspect of the suspension design of the actual bridge, including its functional drawbridge. Tyne Bridge Kit (2004) is Burden’s reimagining of the Erector toolbox: the one-ton wooden chest contains rows of drawers that store the tools, blueprints, and two hundred thousand metal parts that can theoretically be used to assemble a 9 1/2-meter-long model of the Tyne Bridge in England. In Three Arch Dry Stack Bridge, 1/4 Scale (2013), first exhibited in the major survey Chris Burden: Extreme Measures at the New Museum, New York (2013–14), three elegant arches are made up of hand-cast concrete blocks, held together by gravity alone in the manner of classical keystone construction.

In Porsche with Meteorite (2013), Burden presents the convulsive image of a bright yellow sports car hanging in apparent balance with an extraterrestrial rock at either tip of a huge steel truss. Pair of Namur Mortars (2013) is a more subtle mimesis, the seventeenth-century war machine reproduced to functional perfection, including piles of stone cannonballs. Manipulating perception through obsessive veracity combined with shifting scale to achieve effects that are as ominous as they are surreal, Burden continues to challenge the physical and psychological limits of sculpture.

Gagosian est heureuse de présenter des œuvres de Chris Burden, sa première exposition personnelle à Paris en plus de vingt ans.

Depuis les années 1970, Burden a su rediriger ses performances, dans lesquelles sa vie était mise en danger et réalisées alors qu’il était un jeune artiste à l’esprit audacieux, pour les transformer en des sculptures illustrant ses prouesses techniques à l’échelle imposante. Les jouets (des figurines, des trains électriques, des bouts de jeu de construction Erector/Meccano) sont utilisés comme des blocs de construction pour de vastes maquettes, des villes et des champs de batailles; alors que de véritables véhicules (des bateaux, des camions, et des voitures) sont suspendus ou mis en mouvement de façon invraisemblable et surréelle.

Depuis 2003, Burden, en assemblant de milliers d’éléments de jeux de construction, construit des maquettes de ponts à grande-échelle—à la fois réelles et imaginaires. Tower of London Bridge (2003) imite chaque aspect de la conception de suspension du véritable London Bridge, y compris le fonctionnement du pont-levis. Pour l’œuvre Tyne Bridge Kit (2004), Burden a ré-imaginé une boîte à outils de la marque Erector: le bahut en bois, d’une tonne, contient des tiroirs de rangements pour les outils, des plans, et les 200,000 pièces métalliques peuvant en théorie être utilisées pour réaliser une maquette du Tyne Bridge en Angleterre (d’une longueur de 9,5 mètres). Three Arch Day Stack Bridge, 1/4 Scale (2013), présentée pour la première fois lors de l’exposition d’envergure Chris Burden : Extreme Measures qui s’est tenue au New Museum à New York en 2013–14, est une œuvre composée de trois arches harmonieuses construites à partir de blocs de ciment fabriqués à la main, et maintenues ensemble uniquement par la force de gravité, à la manière des constructions anciennes en clé de voute.

Porsche with Meteorite (2013) présente l’image choc paroxysmique d’une voiture de sport peinte en jaune vif, suspendue en équilibre apparent avec une roche extraterrestre ; chaque extrémité étant reliée par une large poutre d’acier. Pair of Namur Mortars (2013), œuvre à la mimésis plus subtile, est une machine de guerre du 17ème siècle dont la fonctionnalité est parfaitement reproduite, jusqu’à inclure les piles de boulets de canon en pierre.

L’obsession de la véracité chez Burden, ainsi que sa manipulation de notre perception lorsqu’il joue sur les échelles, provoquent des effets aussi menaçants que surréalistes ; continuant ainsi de questionner les limites physiques et psychologiques de la sculpture.

From the Quarterly