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Chris Burden's architectural intelligence
Chris Burden's architectural intelligence

I remember very clearly the first time I heard Renzo Piano describe the new plaza he was planning for the expanded Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It must have been 2005. The Italian architect told me he wanted to create a spacious, classically proportioned space stretching between the museum's new ticket kiosks and Wilshire Boulevard. “A piazza,” he called it, with more pride than irony about how such a romantic notion would play in the middle of Los Angeles. Artist Chris Burden and Michael Govan, who became LACMA director in 2006, came up with a different idea. Burden, who died Sunday at 69, had been collecting cast-iron lampposts from Southern California...

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