new york: chris burden - extreme measures

© new museum / chris burden - the big wheel [1979]

this show has art buffs from near and far coming to the new museum in droves. we're talking chris burden - extreme measures, an elaborate exhibition on chris burden, one of the most prominent american artists of his generation. the showcase occupies all floors of the venue, and sheds light on a career that spans four decades. burden has created a rather unique body of work that has redefined the way we understand both performance and sculpture. startling at the time, his early works remain some of the most extreme and influential performances of the era, inspiring younger artists through his radical approach not only to the body but also to issues within a larger socio-political context.

in the 1980s, he began a series of ambitious sculptures using materials common to childhood playtime activities, such as erector sets, toy soldiers, model train sets and construction models, to create miniaturized yet still monumental reconstructions of structures and environments. interestingly, these works show political and historical relationships, and register the depth of our mechanical and technological imagination. the exhibition presents a selection of burden’s work that's focused on weights and measures, boundaries and constraints, where physical and moral limits are called into question. attached to the new museum's minimalist façade is burden's 30-foot double-ended vessel, originally designed to sail a unmanned voyage with a computer. this piece will remain on view for a year as part of the museum’s ongoing façade sculpture program [on through jan 12]. location: 235 bowery [lower east].

© new museum / chris burden - mexican bridge [1998], porsche with meteorite [2013] and a tale of two cities [1981] - top to bottom