Chris Burden

Born 1946 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Died 2015 in Topanga, California, USA



Born 1946 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died 2015 in Topanga, California, USA

The work of U.S. conceptual artist Chris Burden strongly influenced not only performance but also sculpture in the 1970s. Chris Burden studied architecture, physics, and fine arts at the University of California. In the 1970s, a series of spectacular performances took place in which Burden often went to the limit of what he could physically endure. This includes performances such as the 1971 performance Shoot, where the artist let a friend shoot him in the arm at a distance of four meters. Regarding his artistic practice, Burden was interested in political and social structures and addressed their power relations. In the mid-1970s, he turned increasingly to conceptual installation and kinetic sculpture. These works also reflect on the social environment or examine the boundaries of science, technology and architecture, which is well evident in his miniature bridge works. “Bridges and Bullets” was also the title of his first solo exhibition at Galerie Krinzinger in 2005, in which the architectural sculptures were shown.  

Chris Burden created an extensive body of work which he has exhibited worldwide in important art institutions as well as art festivals, such as documenta 6 in Kassel, Whitney Biennial 1977, 1989 and 1997, 4th Biennale de Lyon 1997, 48th Venice Biennale 1999 as well as the 49th Venice Biennale 2001, 7th Istanbul Biennial 2001, Biennale of Sydney 2002 and 2004, Portugal Arte 10 in 2010 and Manifesta 11 Zürich 2016. Chris Burden is represented by renowned galleries like Gagosian Gallery, Anne de Villepoix, Paris, Moisant Weyl, New York, Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, as well as Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna. Important solo exhibitions include shows at Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall in Sweden, Tate gallery London 1999, Museum Moderner Kunst Vienna 2002, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Newcastle, Great Britain, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Rockefeller Center in New York, Middelhelm Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, Modem Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts in Debrecen, Hungary and the New Museum New York. Among others, Burden’s artworks are permanently installed at Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Los Angeles, California, at Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporanea in Minas Gerais, Brazil and The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, in Waltham, Massachusetts. In addition to his own artistic career, he was also a professor at UCLA from 1978 to 2004.