Chris Burden (American, b.1946) is a performance artist and sculptor. He was born in Boston, MA, and moved shortly thereafter to California, where he earned a BFA from Pomona College in 1969, and an MFA from the University of California in 1971. Burden began producing and performing works in the 1970s, and believed that art should engage audiences in sociological, political, and environmental issues. His performances, which often emphasized the present moment, initially shocked viewers and changed the nature of performance art. Burden infamously has endured a variety of physical traumas in the name of art, such as a gunshot wound (Shoot, 1971) and near-electrocution (Doorway to Heaven, 1973). For a 1974 piece titled Trans-fixed, Burden had his hands nailed to the roof of a Volkswagen as he sprawled across it in a crucifixion-like pose.

Later in the 1970s and into the 1980s, Burden began creating massive sculptures involving hydraulics and machinery, inspired by his interest in engineering and technology. For a 2008 sculpture called Urban Light, Burden installed 202 antique cast-iron streetlamps outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. For Burden, the lamps represented urban sophistication and civilization. Burden’s work has been displayed in solo exhibitions at South London Gallery, the Gagosian Gallery in New York and Beverly Hills, the Tate Gallery in London, and the Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig in Vienna, among others.

He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Timeline

1946
Born in Boston, MA
1969
BFA, Pomona College, Claremont, CA
1971
MFA, University of California, Irvine, CA,
1978
Teaching position at the San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
1997–1998
Visual Artists Award from the Flintridge Foundation
1978–2004
Professor and Head of New Media at the University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Exhibitions

2013
Chris Burden, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2013
Extreme Measures. New Museum New York, USA (solo)
2013
Chris Burden, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA (solo)
2013
State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970. Bronx Museum oft he Arts, New York, USA
2012
Skyscraper: Artand Architecture Againt Gravity (curated by Josh Baer) Chrysler Building, New York, USA
2012
Chris Burden, New Works, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden (solo)
2012
Small Skyscraper, Armory Center fort he Arts and One Colorado, Pasadena California, USA (solo)
2012
Burrough, xtine, ed, Net Works Case Studies in Web Art and Design, Routledge, New York, USA
2012
Vidéo Vintage 1963-1983 ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
2012
OUT SPOKEN MAK Center, Los Angeles, USA
2012
Print/Out Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
2012
transmediale.12 Transmediale Berlin, Germany
2011
Starters – Performative Positionen, lothringer13, Munich, Germany
2011
The Talent Show – University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa, FL, USA
2011
Taking Shape – Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, USA
2011
Erudition Concete 4 – FRAC – Ile-de-France Le Plateau, Paris, France
2011
Car Fetish. I drive, therefor I am. –Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland
2011
Metropolis II, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
2011
Behehive Bunker. Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil (solo, permanent installation)
2011
Three Ghost Ships. Portland Museum, Portland, Oregon, USA (solo)
2011
Chris Burden Katalog Präsentation von Michael Schmidt, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (solo)
2011
Albenda/ Burden – Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York City, USA
2011
The Talent Show – Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, USA
2011
EN-GARDE II: omg – Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York, USA
2011
Bild für Bild – Film und zeitgenössische Kunst, Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany
2011
Mondes inventés, Mondes habités Musée d´Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxemburg
2010
Changing Channels, MUMOK, Vienna, Austria
2010
Bild für Bild – Film und zeitgenössische Kunst – Museum Ostwall im Dortmunder U, Dortmund, Germany
2010
The Talent Show – MoMA PS1, New York City, USA
2010
TEN FOR CHRISTMAN – group show – Black Cube Gallery – Sant Antoni Maria Claret, Barcelona, Spain
2010
Without you Iʼm Nothing: Art and ist Audience – Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, USA
2010
Dreamer´s Folly. Portland Museum, Portland, Oregon, USA (solo)
2010
Christ Burden – The Heart: Open or Closed. Gagosian Gallery, Rome, Italy (solo)
2010
Chris Burden – Crash. Homage to JG Ballard. Gagosian Gallery, London, UK (solo)
2010
JERRY/JURY-RIGGED – The Glendale College Art Gallery, Glendale, USA
2010
PortugalArte 10 – PortugalArte, Lisbon, Portugal
2010
Broadcast – University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampla, USA
2010
Outside the Box.Edition Jacob Samuel, 1988-2010 – Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA
2010
Resurrectine – Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, USA
2010
DO / REDO/ UNDO – WIELS – Centrum voor Hedendaagse kunst, Brussels, Belgium
2010
Julia Stoschek Collection – I want to see how you see - Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Hamburg
2010
Mike, Alice or Rufus? (Tom, Dick or Harry?) – Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna, Austria
2010
Aktualität eines Mediums. Nader Ahriman bis Chen Zhen – Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria
2010
The Talend Show – Walker Art Center, Mineapolis, USA
2010
Crash – Gagosian Gallery, London, UK
2010
Broadcast – Picker Art Gallery at colgate Univerity, Hamilton, Canada
2010
Wall & Floor . Galerie Almine Rech – Paris, Paris, France
2010
Bilder in Bewegung: Künstler&Video/Film, Museum Ludwig Köln, Cologne, Germany
2009
MESSIAHS. Modem Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts, Debrecen, Hungary (solo)
2009
Chris Burden, Beam Drop Antwerp, Sculptures, Videos. Middelhelm Museum, Antwerp, Belgium (solo)
2009
Chris Burden – One Ton One Kilo. Gagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA, USA (solo)
2009
ARTISTS OF THE GALLERY – A SPECIAL SELECTION, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria
2009
Votive – Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow, UK
2009
Modelisme - FRAC – Limousine, Limoges, France
2009
MOCAʼs First Thirty Years – MOCA – The Museum of Contemporary Art - Grand Avenue, Los Angeles
2009
We interrupt this program – Mercer Union – A centre For Contemporary Visual Art, Toronto, Canada
2009
The Moving Image: Scan to Screen, Pixel to Projection II – Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, USA
2009
BLACK&WHITEWORKS – Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York City, USA
2009
The Making of Art – Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/Main, Germany
2009
All that is solid melts into air – MuHKA Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen, Antwerp, Belgium
2009
live art/ levende scene – Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo, Norway
2008
Drawing Review: 37 Years of Works on Paper – Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, NY, USA
2008
Objects of Value – MAM – Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, USA
2008
The Aesthetics of Terror – CAM – Chelsea Art Museum, New York City, NY, USA
2008
USA Today – Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago – MCA, Chicago, IL, USA
2008
Number Two: Fragile – Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, Germany
2008
La Fete Est Permanente / the Eternal Network – FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France
2008
The Map is not the Territory – Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, Esbjerg, Norway
2008
Beam Drop Inhotim. Inhotim Centro de Arte Contemporanea, Minas Gerais, Brazil (solo)
2008
What My Dad Gave Me. Rockefeller Center, New York, USA (solo)
2008
Urban Light. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA (solo)
2008
Political Correct – BFAS Blondeau Fine Art Services, Geneva, Switzerland
2008
Instantanè (70), Porte-parole (èpisode no2) – FRAC . Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, France
2008
Broadcast – Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit, MI, USA
2008
Reality Check – Statens museum for kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark
2008
art / tapes / 22 – UAM – University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA, USA
2008
Art Since the 1960s: California experiments, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, USA
2008
Archetypes and Icons, Gagosian Gallery , Beverly Hills, CA, USA
2008
That was Then...This is Now, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island, USA
2008
Retrospective, Gagosian Gllery – 21th Street, New York City, NY, USA
2008
16th Biennale of Sydney, NSW, Australia
2008
Broadcast yourself, Cornerhouse, Manchester, England
2008
3D – ouvres de la collection du FRAC Limousin, Espace culturel Mitterand, Perigeux, France
2008
Martian Museum of Terrestrial Art, Barbican, London, England
2008
Art Metropole: The Top 100, MSVU Art Gallery, Halifax, NS, Canada
2007
Chris Burden. Yin Yang. Gagosian Gallery - Beverly Hills, USA (solo)
2007
Tale of Two Cities. Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, USA (solo)
2007
Mixed Signals, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York, NY, USA
2006
Los Angles 1955-1985, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
2006
Center for Contemporary Art, CCA Kitakyushu, Japan (solo)
2005
Locus +, Newcastle, England (solo)
2004
21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan (solo)
2004
Zwirner and Wirth, New York, USA (solo)
2004
Gagosian Gallery - New York, NY, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, and London, Great Britain (solo)
2004
4th Plinth Project, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery, London, Great Britain
2003
Concrete Art, European Cultural Capital, Graz, Austria
2003
Gagosian Gallery - New York, NY, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, and London, Great Britain (solo)
2003
L.A.C.E. (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo)
2002
Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, Great Britain (solo)
2002
Trespassing: House X Artists, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA, USA & MAK Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2002
Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna, Austria (solo)
2001
7th International Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
2001
Un Art Populaire, Cartier Foundation, Paris, France
2001
A Room of Their Own, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2001
Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA (solo)
2000
American Bricolage, Sperone Westwater Gallery, New York, NY, USA
2000
Gagosian Gallery - New York, NY, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, and London, Great Britain (solo)
2000
Crown Point Press, San Francisco, CA, USA (solo)
2000
Gagosian Gallery, New York, Beverly Hills, London, Great Britain (solo)
2000
Orbis Terrarum, Antwerp, Belgium
2000
Made in California 1900-2000, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA, USA
2000
Broadcast – Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Portland, USA
1999
48th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
1999
Tate Gallery, London, Great Britain (solo)
1999
Le monde reel, Cartier Foundation, Paris
1998
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Sweden (solo)
1998
Out of Actions: Between Performance and Objects, 1949-1979, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA
1997
Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France
1997
Sunshine & Noir, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humelbaek, Denmark
1997
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA
1996
Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria (solo)
1996
Austrian Museum of Applied Arts (MAK), Vienna, Austria (solo)
1996
Gagosian Gallery - New York, NY, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, and London, Great Britain (solo)
1995
Endurance, Exit Art, New York, NY
1995
After Hiroshima, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Hiroshima, Japan
1994
Virtual Reality, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
1994
Hors Limites, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
1994
Gagosian Gallery - New York, NY, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, and London, Great Britain (solo)
1993
Gagosian Gallery - New York, NY, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, and London, Great Britain (solo)
1993
Action/Performance and the Photograph, Turner/Krull Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1993
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA
1992
LAX, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria
1992
Helter Skelter: L.A. Art of the 1990s, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
1991
Dislocations, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1991
Places With A Past: Site Specific Art in Charleston, Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC
1990
New Works for New Spaces: Into the Nineties, Wexner Center for the Visual A Arts, Columbus, OH
1990
TSWA: Four Cities Project, Newcastle, England
1990
Seven Obsessions, Whitechapel Gallery, London, England
1989
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA
1977
Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA