Chris Burden

Chris Burden first gained international attention in the 1970s as an influential and often controversial figure in the West Coast body art, performance and conceptual art movements. Once ironically termed the "Evel Knieval of contemporary art," Burden allowed himself to be shot, crucified, almost drowned and electrocuted. In 1974, he began working with video, using it as an integral component of his performances, as well as for the documentation of his works and in the production of conceptual TV "commercials."

In the late 1970s, Burden began producing sculptural objects, installations and technological or mechanical inventions, including the monumental BCar and The Big Wheel. In these extensions of his conceptual works, Burden addresses the artist's relationship to an industrialized and technological society.

Burden was born in 1946 and died in 2015. He received a B.A. from Pomona College, Claremont, California, and an M.F.A. from the University of California, Irvine. The first New York survey of his work, "Chris Burden: Extreme Measures," opened in the autumn of 2013 at the New Museum for Contemporary Art, New York. A major retrospective of his work, "Chris Burden: A Twenty Year Survey," was organized in 1988 by the Newport Harbor Art Museum, California. He performed and exhibited his work internationally, at institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA); MAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; de Appel, Amsterdam; Tate, London; The Baltic Centre, Newcastle, England; The 48th Venice Biennale, Venice; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Conceptual Art, San Francisco; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art 1992 Biennial, New York, Gagosian Gallery, and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and taught for many years at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Burden lived in Topanga, California, until his death in 2015.