Chris Burden dies at 69: Art world reacts on social media

Chris Burden stands amid "Urban Light," his installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Chris Burden stands amid “Urban Light,” his installation at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
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The death of Chris Burden on Sunday came as a surprise to many in the art world. The conceptual artist, who was 69, had battled melanoma but had kept his illness a secret from the public.

Burden was a Southern California artist who developed an international reputation for his inventive and striking creations. “Urban Light,” which stands at the streetfront entrance to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is his most recognizable work, consisting of more than 200 vintage street lamps.

A number of notable art-world personalities and institutions have reacted to Burden’s death on social media. Here are some Twitter reactions:


Steve Martin, actor and art collector (@SteveMartinToGo): Chris Burden, an artist who made works of incredible charm -- and horror -- has died.

Richard Prince, artist (@RichardPrince4): Masterpiece. Sad News. (Tweet accompanied by photo of “Urban Light.”)

Johnny Knoxville, actor (@realjknoxville): R.I.P. Chris Burden. And no he didn’t die from the pic below. Still, don’t try this at home! (Tweet accompanied by photos of Burden’s “Shoot.”)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (@LACMA): We are deeply saddened to note the passing of Chris Burden, whose impact on art and on LA has been profound.

Museum of Contemporary Art (@MOCA): We mourn the loss of Chris Burden, one of the great and influential artists of Los Angeles.

UC Irvine (@UCIrvine): Sad to hear UC Irvine alumnus Chris Burden has died. Grateful for his vision & light. Thoughts are w/ his loved ones


Marina Abramovic Institute (@hudsonmai): We are extremely sad to hear of the passing of artist Chris Burden. Rest in peace and long live the ideas that his work confronts us with.

New Museum (@newmuseum): Chris Burden, RIP. An artistic giant and fearless risk-take[r] who played by his own rules.

Jerry Saltz, art critic (@jerrysaltz): R.I.P. Great artist Chris Burden, 69. #shoot

Hammer Museum (@hammer_museum): We are deeply saddened by the passing of artist and friend #ChrisBurden.

The Rose Art Museum (@RoseArtMuseum): One of the greatest artists of his time, Chris Burden’s work will continue to influence generations to come.

Hari Kunzru, novelist (@harikunzru): Chris Burden has ended his vigil. RIP

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT