Chris Burden goes to extreme measures in New York

Chris Burden goes to extreme measures in New York
Chris Burden's "A Tale of Two Cities," an installation dating from 1981, at the New Museum in New York. (Benoit Pailley / New Museum)

Chris Burden, the Los Angeles conceptual artist whose "Urban Light" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has become a local landmark, is marking a career milestone with his first solo museum show since 1988. But the exhibition is taking place 3,000 miles away at the New Museum in New York.

"Chris Burden: Extreme Measures" opened this week at the downtown contemporary art museum with a flurry of media attention. Running through Jan. 12, the exhibition features a selection of his works from his 40-year career, occupying all five floors of the museum.


Burden has been associated with Los Angeles since the beginning of his career. (His studio is in Topanga Canyon.) The artist's conceptual work spans extreme performance art -- he famously had a gun fire into his arm in a 1971 piece -- to installations and and large kinetic sculptures.

His "Metropolis II," also at LACMA, has been a popular draw at the L.A. museum since opening in 2012. The large-scale piece is a futuristic labyrinth of speedways populated with toy race cars.

At the New Museum survey, Burden is represented by some of his most noted pieces, such as the 1979 work "The Big Wheel" -- featuring a revving motorcycle that propels a much larger wheel. The exhibition also features pieces documenting his days as an underground performance artist in L.A. during the '70s.

Here's a video of the show's installation at the New Museum.