Chris Burden, the Californian performance art pioneer and sculptor, who consistently pushed the envelope of physical endurance and human capacities, passed away at home this weekend from a malignant melanoma. He was 69.
Burden’s work consistently mined the landscape of modern America, from the production and representation of violence in his infamous piece Shoot (in which he was shot in the arm), to his often comical and abrasive television advertisements, to his immensely-scaled reproductions of weapons, architecture and cultural symbols. He had recently concluded a major retrospective at the New Museum in New York in 2012-2013.
Burden’s recent work had delved into notions of mass reproduction, force and balance, from his iconic LACMA installation Urban Light, to his Metropolis assemblage works. “Chris’ work combines the raw truth of our reality and an optimism of what humans can make and do,” LACMA director Michael Govan told the LA Times.