New Social Environment
A Conversation on Chris Burden
Tuesday, August 23, 2022, 1pm EDT
As part of the Brooklyn Rail’s online series New Social Environment, art history professor Alexander Dumbadze joins Yayoi Shionoiri, executive director of the Estate of Chris Burden, and art historian Sydney Stutterheim for a conversation about Chris Burden and the 1970s California Conceptual art scene. The talk will conclude with a poetry reading.
Chris Burden, Solaris, 1980, performance at Pacific Ocean, Santa Monica, California © 2022 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
American Artist, Yayoi Shionoiri, and Sydney Stutterheim on “Poetic Practical”
Thursday, April 14, 2022, 6:30pm
The Kitchen, New York
Join Gagosian to celebrate the publication of Poetic Practical: The Unrealized Work of Chris Burden with a conversation between Sydney Stutterheim, art historian and book coeditor; Yayoi Shionoiri, executive director of the Estate of Chris Burden; and artist American Artist, whose recent metaverse-based work Urban Light (2022) engages with Burden’s public sculpture of the same name at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Considering the book’s sustained examination of sixty-seven projects that remained incomplete at the time of Burden’s death in 2015, the trio will discuss the various ways that an artist’s work and legacy lives on beyond their lifetime. Copies of the publication will be available to purchase. To attend the event, register at eventbrite.com.
Left: American Artist. Photo: Alex Hodor-Lee. Center: Yayoi Shionoiri. Right: Sydney Stutterheim
Chris Burden at South London Gallery
Launching May 10, 2021
As part of the first season of theVOV, the South London Gallery will digitally re-present the exhibition Chris Burden: 14 Magnolia Double Lamps, fifteen years after it was originally shown at the institution. This important work would go on to become the iconic sculpture Urban Light (2008), which is permanently installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Created in collaboration with fifteen of the United Kingdom’s leading arts organizations, including the Tate, Hayward Gallery, and Turner Contemporary, theVOV is a new online platform that digitally revives major exhibitions, presenting them in a new light to wider audiences.
Installation view, Chris Burden: 14 Magnolia Double Lamps, South London Gallery, September 15–November 5, 2006. Artwork © Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: VIEW Pictures Ltd./Alamy Stock Photo
Chris Burden: Streetlamps is available for online reading from August 9 through September 7 as part of the From the Library series. The comprehensive book explores Chris Burden’s iconic work with antique streetlamps. Five major streetlamp sculptures are highlighted, all of which are lavishly documented from conception through installation. The works are further illuminated with texts by Russell Ferguson, Christopher Bedford, and George Roberts; a conversation between Michael Govan and Chris Burden; and a photo essay by Ari Marcopoulos. This was the 500th book the gallery published, which was an exciting and fitting publication to mark the achievement as Burden was among the first artists to work with Larry Gagosian, starting in 1976.
Chris Burden: Streetlamps (New York: Gagosian, 2017)
Alternate Meanings in Film and Video
You’re only as young as the last time you changed your mind.
Gagosian is pleased to present Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video, an online exhibition of artists’ films and videos viewable exclusively on gagosian.com. The exhibition will be organized into a series of “chapters,” each lasting two weeks. The first chapter begins on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Broadcast: Alternate Meanings in Film and Video employs the innate immediacy of time-based art to spark reflection on the here and now, taking the words of famed psychologist and countercultural icon Timothy Leary as its starting point.
Adam McEwen, Escape from New York, 2014 (still from “Battery Tunnel”) © Adam McEwen
Thursday, March 5, 2020, 6:30pm
Gagosian, Britannia Street, London
Join Gagosian for a tour of the group exhibition American Pastoral. The show juxtaposes modern and contemporary works with historical American landscapes ranging from Albert Bierstadt’s depiction of the sublime in Sunset over the River (1877) to Edward Hopper’s tranquil seaside scene, Gloucester Harbor (1926). Gagosian’s Alice Godwin will focus on a select grouping of exhibited works that seek to challenge the idealized vision of the American Dream that has long been a rich topic of inquiry for artists in the United States. To attend the free event, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Space is limited.
Installation view, American Pastoral, Gagosian, Britannia Street, London, January 23–March 14, 2020. Artwork, left to right: © Theaster Gates, © Adam McEwen, Thomas Moran, © Richard Prince, © Banks Violette, © Ed Ruscha. Photo: Lucy Dawkins
75th Birthday Poster
To celebrate what would have been the artist’s seventy-fifth birthday this year, the Chris Burden Estate is sharing a free poster that can be downloaded and printed at home. Designed by Estate director Erica Mercado, the poster features an archival drawing by Burden of his plans for Wexner Castle (1990), currently on view at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio, as part of the exhibition Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment. The Estate will continue to commemorate this important moment throughout the year, sharing updates about the artist through their newsletter.
Poster to commemorate Chris Burden’s seventy-fifth birthday
Chris Burden: Streetlamps explores the artist’s iconic work with antique streetlamps. Five major streetlamp sculptures are highlighted, all of which are lavishly documented from conception through installation. The works are further illuminated with texts by Russell Ferguson, Christopher Bedford, and George Roberts; a conversation between Michael Govan and Chris Burden; and a photo essay by Ari Marcopoulos. This is the 500th book the gallery has published. It is an exciting and fitting publication to mark this achievement as Burden was among the first artists to work with Larry Gagosian, starting in 1976. Order the book at the Gagosian Shop.
Chris Burden: Street Lamps (New York: Gagosian, 2017)
Rozalia Jovanovic interviews Chris Burden for Blouin Artinfo as the pair walk through Chris Burden: Extreme Measures, an exhibition presented by the New Museum, New York, in 2013–14.
The TV Commercials
Chris Burden discusses his landmark series of late-night television commercials produced during the 1970s on the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’s MoCAtv in 2013. Burden’s shocking and occasionally humorous interruptions to regular TV programming reveal how fame and stature can be bought and manipulated in popular media.
Gagosian visits Chris Burden’s studio in Topanga, California, to take a look at his nearly complete kinetic sculpture Metropolis II (2011) before it is installed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Unconcerned with scale, Burden instead strives to re-create the frenetic energy of a city as tiny toy cars zoom along straight skyways and around sharp turns.
Chris Burden and Michael Govan on Urban Light
Chris Burden sits down with Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan on the occasion of the installation of Urban Light (2008) at the museum’s Wilshire Boulevard entrance. Stylistic differences in the refurbished 1920s and ’30s streetlamps that form the installation once served to identify neighborhoods around Los Angeles and now stand together in this piece that has become emblematic of both the museum and the city at large.
Objects of Desire
Photography and the Language of Advertising
Through December 18, 2022
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Objects of Desire traces the artistic manipulation of advertising through the works of photo-based artists. Since the 1970s, creative innovations have led to dramatic shifts in the possibilities for photography as artistic expression, and these artists have reworked and exploited the vocabulary and strategies of advertising to challenge the increased commodification of daily life. Through re-photography, appropriation, and simulation, these artists challenge the viewer to determine what exactly these pictures are asking of us. Work by Chris Burden and Roe Ethridge is included.
Chris Burden, The TV Commercials 1973–1977, 1973–77/2000 (still) © 2022 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
Chris Burden in
Enter the Mirror
Through July 23, 2023
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
Enter the Mirror calls on the viewer to acknowledge truths that are difficult or unpleasant to see. In artworks from the late 1970s to the mid-2010s, twenty artists grapple with violence, trauma, corruption, historical distortion, and the abuse of power to confront facts and complicity that have shaped our world. This exhibition includes photography, painting, sculpture, video, and installations. Work by Chris Burden is included.
Chris Burden, The Other Vietnam Memorial, 1991, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago © 2022 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nathan Keay © MCA Chicago
Through August 20, 2023
Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa, California
13 Women marks the Orange County Museum of Art’s sixtieth anniversary; by paying homage to the thirteen women who founded the Balboa Pavilion Gallery, the OCMA’s predecessor institution, which was opened in 1962. The exhibition presents work from the 1960s to the present by the artists central to the museum’s collection, including Chris Burden and Ed Ruscha.
Chris Burden, Large Glass Ship, 1983, Orange County Museum, Costa Mesa, California © 2022 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Chris Burden in
The Reason for the Neutron Bomb
June 4–October 23, 2022
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Downtown
Comprised of pieces from the museum’s collection, this exhibition presents the timely and poignant works of Chris Burden and Byron Kim. Burden’s large-scale installation, which gives the exhibition its title, was created in 1979, during the Cold War, and consists of fifty thousand nickels topped with fifty thousand matchsticks to represent the Soviet Union’s military tanks. These outnumbered the tanks in the Western Bloc’s collective armies by more than two to one at the time—a fact the US military used to justify its development of nuclear weapons.
Chris Burden, The Reason for the Neutron Bomb, 1979, installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego © 2022 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Riyo Studio
Chris Burden in
Climate Changing: On Artists, Institutions, and the Social Environment
January 30–May 9, 2021
Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus
Climate Changing foregrounds contemporary artists’ engagement with social issues and shaping institutions—an engagement that has become all the more critical during the entwined crises of systemic racism and COVID-19. Together the works in the exhibition encourage a collective reimagining of our social environment. In addition to presenting nine commissioned works, the exhibition restages a work commissioned for the Center’s inaugural year: Chris Burden’s Wexner Castle (1990). By adding battlements to the brick sections of the building’s deconstructivist design (a reference to the Armory that once stood on its site), the late artist’s work encourages visitors to reflect on the role museums play in today’s society.
Chris Burden, Wexner Castle, 1990/2020 © Chris Burden/Licensed by The Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Arte en sonido hasta 1980
September 23, 2020–March 1, 2021
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
This exhibition, whose English title is Disonata: Art in Sound up to 1980, analyzes the development of sound as a creative field of visual arts differentiated from music across the first eighty years of the twentieth century. The show reflects the efforts of artists who resorted to sound beyond its traditional use in such manifestations as mixed-media work, poetry, and theater. Work by Chris Burden and Nam June Paik is included.
Chris Burden, The Atomic Alphabet, 1980 © Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
All of the Above
September 24–December 27, 2020
Kanal–Centre Pompidou, Brussels
Curated by artist John Armleder, All of the Above was inspired by his memories of feeling that he was being observed in return by the cultural artifacts he saw when he visited museums and temples as a child. This exhibition seeks to reproduce that experience by presenting a constellation of works by more than forty artists on a large multilevel platform to form a landscape that visitors can explore from a distance. Work by Chris Burden, Olivier Mosset, and Blair Thurman is included.
Chris Burden in
States of Mind: Art and American Democracy
September 18–December 19, 2020
Moody Center for the Arts, Rice University, Houston
Reflecting on some of the most pressing topics facing American democracy, States of Mind is timed to coincide with the 2020 presidential election in order to encourage dialogue around current social and political issues. Many of the works on view examine the status of our country’s founding principles of freedom and equality, while others engage with questions of voting access, gun control, and immigration policies—three issues that are common throughout the United States and that are of particular concern to Texas. The exhibition does not attempt to cover the myriad complexities of a democratic government but rather invites viewers to consider timely yet recurrent questions around these themes. Work by Chris Burden is included.
Chris Burden, L.A.P.D. Uniforms, 1993, installation view, Made in California: Art, Image and Identity, 1900–2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art © Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Museum Associates/LACMA
Chris Burden in
Where We Now Stand: In Order to Map the Future 
October 12, 2019–April 12, 2020
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan
This exhibition reinterprets work from the museum’s collection to examine the world today. Work by Chris Burden is included.
Chris Burden, Metropolis, 2004 © 2020 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Keizo Kioku
The Foundation of the Museum
May 19, 2019–January 20, 2020
Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles
To mark the museum’s fortieth anniversary, this exhibition presents a selected topography of artworks that speak to the diversity of MOCA’s collecting over the past four decades. With special emphasis on works associated with the museum’s remarkable history of exhibitions, The Foundation of the Museum: MOCA’s Collection shows the institution’s holdings as shaped by a changing landscape of developments in contemporary art and curatorial focus, as well by as the social and cultural backdrops that inform them. Work by Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, Bruce Nauman, Albert Oehlen, Nancy Rubins, and Ed Ruscha is included.
Chris Burden, Exposing the Foundation of the Museum, 1986 © 2019 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Squidds and Nunns
Crystals in Art
Ancient to Today
October 12, 2019–January 6, 2020
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas
Crystals in Art explores the connections between crystals and art throughout the world, spanning history and geography. The exhibition includes a selection of works and specimens from ancient Egypt up to the present day and addresses broader recurring themes in the history of crystals such as science and religion, art and medicine, aesthetic beauty and transformation, and more. Work by Chris Burden, Pablo Picasso, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol is included.
Chris Burden, 1/4 Carat Diamond 1/4 Carat Cubic Zirconium Magnified 25 Times, #3, 2007 © 2020 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Chris Burden in
Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965–1975
September 29, 2019–January 5, 2020
Minneapolis Institute of Art
Artists Respond brings together nearly one hundred works by fifty-eight of the most visionary and provocative artists and collectives of the Vietnam War era. Galvanized by the moral urgency of the conflict, these artists reimagined the goals and uses of art across multiple movements and media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, performance and body art, installation, documentary art, and conceptual art. This exhibition has traveled from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC. Work by Chris Burden is included.
Chris Burden, Shoot, 1971 © 2019 Chris Burden/Licensed by the Chris Burden Estate and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Barbara T. Smith