Big things are happening at the New Museum, New York City’s only art institution dedicated to exclusively showcasing contemporary works from around the world. Starting yesterday, and running through January 12th, 2014, performance and sculpture artist Chris Burden is taking over the museum, with installations occupying all five floors and spilling out onto the museum’s exterior. The exhibit aptly titled, “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures,” a name that suits the artist’s massive take-over of the New Museum.
Chris Burden may be taking extreme measures in his exhibit at the New Museum, but “extremity” is a word that critics and fans have already applied to his work for decades. After all, Burden is infamously known as the artist who was shot through the arm with a rifle for his 1971 performance piece “Shoot,” and for being crucified to the hood of a Volkswagen Beetle, in his similarly shocking 1974 performance “Trans-fixed.” In the years that followed his original shock-and-awe performances, critics have speculated that his departure from performance in favor of sculpture and installation is indicative of a more matured version of the multi-faceted artist.
Still, occupying an entire museum for his first major exhibition in years is a testament to the creative vision Burden possesses; when he’s not testing the will of his own body to create art he’s imagining the possibility of exhibiting art on a scale larger than most dream of. The New Museum explains that “Chris Burden: Extreme Measures” is “an expansive presentation of Chris Burden’s work that marks the first New York Survey of the artist and his first major exhibition in the US in over twenty-five years.” The museum also describes Burden as having created “epoch-defining work [that] has made him one of the most important American artists to emerge since 1970.”
In Chris Burden’s occupation of the New Museum you’ll find grand-scale installation pieces, radical new sculptures, and floors filled with artwork that pays homage to the artist’s legacy.
For more information about the exhibit, visit www.newmuseum.org.