Lot Details

Chris Burden's "Lucky Sub" was exhibited in “Chris Burden: A Twenty Year Survey", Newport Harbor Art Museum curated by Paul Shimmel.

Chris began building his ships and “cost-effective micro weaponry” in the 1980s, which combined ideas of playfulness with warfare and were made from a range of materials including found objects, corks, mechanical parts, glass, and cardboard. His ‘One Lucky Sub’ is from a series of miniature submarines comprised of cardboard and duco cement. By covering the sub with duco cement, he renders it waterproof. Some of the subs were actually able to travel underwater and explode on impact, having been configured with a small black powder bomb ignited by a clothespin, kitchen match, and wire. This transformation of a childhood toy into a deadly weapon alluded to the United States' military relations with the Soviet Union at the time, and hinted at the ease with which both nations could easily allow things to get out of hand - like children paying with toys.

Combining his education in visual arts, architecture, and physics together, Chris Burden (B. 1946) is known for his controversial conceptual artworks which border between the extremely radical and the incredibly inventive. The artist has been shot by a rifle, dragged naked over glass, nailed to the top of a Volkswagen Beetle, and starved for 11 days, all in the name of performance art. Burden’s earlier works from the 1970s focused on the central idea that personal danger was essential to artistic expression, whereas his later pieces have looked towards mechanical constructions and modeling. Burden has exhibited at such prestigious institutions as the National Gallery (London, UK), Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA), and the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, NY), among others.

Select Public Collections:
Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY)
Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, CA)
San Francisco Museum of Art (San Francisco, CA)

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Provenance:
  • The artist; Private Collection, CA.
Exhibition:
“Chris Burden: A Twenty Year Survey", Newport Harbor Art Museum curated by Paul Shimmel
  • Pickup Location: California, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 3 x 8.25 x 1.75 in. (7.62 x 20.96 x 4.44 cm.)
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