Burden Chris, portrait, US - Photo by Christian Saltas

Chris Burden /   Christopher Lee Burden

United States 1946 - 2015

Installation, Sculpture, Performance Art

Chris Burden
Christopher Lee Burden
United States
June 17, 2015
Bojan is an author for Widewalls. He is particularly interested in English linguistics and culture. Bojan is also interested in Photography and Digital Art.

How far is too far? Does art have limits? Boundaries of what’s acceptable? A radical and uncompromising figure with a fierce political consciousness, Chris Burden was an American artist who wasn’t afraid to take drastic steps. In his most dramatic performances, he was shot at – a gesture pointed towards all the meaningless of war, but also a powerful statement of a young, aspiring artist, who announced his coming to the world. Quite versatile, Burden eventually slowed down in his performance work, focusing instead on sculptures and installations, physical manifestations of his undisputed talent.

Chris Burden created new conceptual arts that can be seen in New York museum
Chris Burden – Urban Lights, 2005, installation view at the artist’s studio in Topanga, CA (Left) / What My Dad gave Me, 2008 (Right) – photo credits Erich Koyama, courtesy of Gagosian gallery

Personal Life and Education

Christopher Lee Burden was born in Boston and grew up in various places, like Massachusetts, Italy, and France. Originally famous for his performance art, particularly for his tendency to self-inflict pain while performing the artist probably got the idea for this type of work from a motorcycle accident he had when he was 12 and had to endure an emergency surgery on his foot without any anesthesia. He moved to California where he earned his B.F.A. from Pomona College in 1969, majoring in physics, visual arts, and architecture. Two years later he received his M.F.A. degree from the University of California, where he had been taught by some of the world’s famous artists, including Robert Irwin. Burden started performing while still in college. He had been known for his masochistic performances since the beginning of his artistic career. He loved the idea that he could express himself with only his body and motions, and with virtually no other materials. For some time, that had been the only way that he could express his artistic self, simply because he had no money. He did his first important performance act, Five Day Locker Piece, for his master thesis in 1971. He locked himself inside a locker for five days with no food, only a bucket of water above him, and an empty bucket below him for waste.

Although nothing was visual about this piece, he had definitely drawn a lot of attention: first with his friends and then, as the word had spread, the rest of the campus. Since there had been nothing for him to do in the locker, he was talking to everyone outside of it. In the end, the act was so unorthodox that it even divided the university’s administration over granting Burden’s degree.[1] The performance, however, was not mere sensationalism, grounded instead in a precocious understanding of fundamental shifts taking place in American art. He eventually became a professor at UCLA (1978), a position he had held until his resignation in 2005. The reason why he left the job was because of the controversy surrounding a stunt that a student of his pulled. Since the student was very influenced by Burden’s work, he brought a gun to a class and pretended to play Russian roulette. He then went out of the classroom and set off a firecracker. Everything was just a performance act that simulated his suicide, but Burden didn’t find this amusing whatsoever and criticized the piece, causing the people to call him a hypocrite. Burden was married to a fellow artist, Nancy Rubins. In late 2013, he was diagnosed with melanoma, which resulted in his death 18 months later, on May 10, 2015, at the age of 69.

The artist began performing while he was still in college

Chris Burden appeared in new articles and a video in 2016.
Chris Burden – Porsche with Meteorite, 2013, installation view at the artist’s studio in Topanga, CA – photo credits Brian Forrest, courtesy of Gagosian gallery

Danger and Pain

Arguably, his most famous piece is Shoot. The infamous performance took place in 1971 in f Space, a small gallery in Santa Ana, California, just a few doors from the artist’s own studio. There were only a few people in attendance, and all were performer’s friends. For the act, he had asked one of his friends to help him out by shooting at him with a .22 rifle from a 16 feet (about 5 meters) distance. The initial idea was to get only a graze wound on his left arm, but the shooter was off target, hitting Chris’ left arm. With this piece, Burden wanted to show the spectators what it is really like to be shot at in person, not on TV. The Shoot established Chris as a serious artist and gained him fame in the art world. Asked why he would even consider being shot at, he simply replied: “I wanted to be taken seriously as an artist”.[2] Wanting to bring the pain closer to his viewers, the artist made it into the main motif of his work in the 1970s. Through the Night Softly seemed to be anything but soft. In 1973, Burden left his audience, mostly passersby, perplexed again by performing the piece: he removed his clothes and crawled across broken glass with his hands tied behind his back. The audience was shocked at the sight of his bloody, mutilated torso. And once again, he had managed to show hoe real the pain can be. 1974 was the year when Burden performed his most controversial and notorious piece, Trans-fixed, in Venice, California, where he posed as Christ. It involved a literal transfixion: Chris’ hands were nailed to the face of a Volkswagen. The car was then rolled out and shown to the audience, with the engine on full throttle representing the painful cries and screams of transfixed person experiences. Again, Burden reminded the people of the pain that we usually ignore.

Burden performed another dangerous piece that same year called White Light/White Heat at the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York. This piece was similar to his Five Day Locker Piece, only it was more dangerous. He again spent some time alone, isolated from people. Burden had spent 22 days in a corner of the gallery with no food and this time with absolutely no human contact at all. Another piece where Burden had put his life and health at risk, was Doomed, which took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in April of 1975. The experiment was set up so that it could show how ready we are and how far we would go when it comes to pushing the boundaries of physical endurance. Three items were involved in this piece: A huge glass plate, a clock, and the performer. He positioned himself beneath the glass and said that the piece would end the moment someone interferes with one of the items involved. The clock was there to track the duration of the piece. Afraid for his well-being, Dennis O’Shea, a member of the museum staff placed a container of water within Burden’s reach, thus breaking the rules of the piece and ending it only 45 hours after it had started. Burden got up, took a hammer and smashed the clock. Doomed unmasked the absurdity of the conventions by which, through assuming the role of viewers, we are both blocked and immunized from ethical responsibility. Because not many people could witness his early performances, they were captured on video and in words.

He won the public opinion over time with his bold understanding of arts

Chris Burden had a new approach to performance
Chris Burden – video still from Through the Night Softly, 1973

A Switch to Sculptures

Since the second half of the 70’s, Burden had started working on installations and sculptures, drawing from the knowledge of physics and architecture he had acquired during his training at the university. B-Car was a piece Burden created in 1975, displayed at Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York. B-Car, as Burden said, was a fully operational automobile that could reach the speed of 100 miles per hour. He made each piece of the car himself. DIECIMILA is a fine art print, arguably the first of its kind to be printed on both sides. For this artwork, Burden used a 10,000 Italian Lira banknote. Fascinated with technological innovations, Burden recreated John L. Baird’s original television in 1977. The idea behind this installation was that the transmission of a moving picture had been known to people for sixty years before it became reality. Unlike today’s electronic television, the one Baird made was mechanical, which is what Burden wanted his audience to understand. Since technology is becoming more and more complex and convoluted, fewer people fathom the principles of how anything really works. Burden wanted to bring these principles closer to people. Two years later, Burden created The Big Wheel, a kinetic sculpture in which a motorcycle engine sets a huge iron wheel in motion, thus conveying and storing the energy.

He’s been making sculptures and installations since the second half of the 1970s

Chris Burden applied new approach to performance
Chris Burden – The Big Wheel, 1979 – image via huffingtonpost.com

Politically Inspired Works

One could argue (and probably be right) that political circumstances had influenced Burden’s art to a certain extent. This was clearly visible in his Atomic Alphabet, a print created in 1980. It involves all 26 letters of the English alphabet running down the print, with a word written next to each letter, representing a concept or an object related to war and/or destruction. The piece alludes to the Cold War paranoia and the Vietnam War. Burden’s later works usually include huge installations and sculptures made of small parts, which were usually inspired by war and military. A Tale of Two Cities first came to be in 1981, as a product of Burden’s fascination with war toys like soldiers, model buildings, and bullets. It also represents Burden’s futuristic idea of the world’s society. He argued that the twenty-fifth-century-world would eventually go back to a feudal-states system. The installation actually represents two such cities waging war. At the same time, Tale of Two Cities is an elaborate children’s game and a sophisticated commentary on the absurdity of war. As society moves from the era of the Cold War to a time dominated by ongoing battles between neighboring nations and conflicts within a single nation, A Tale of Two Cities becomes uncannily prophetic. Similarly influenced was the installation All the Submarines of the United States of America from 1987. It comprises 625 small identical submarines, all of which were handmade by Burden himself. He hung them from the ceiling of a gallery at different heights so that they would appear as a school of fish. The submarine models represent the 1890’s submarines that became a part of US Navy in the late 19th century.

Political circumstances have undoubtedly influenced Burden’s work

Chris Burden
Chris Burden – A Tale of Two Cities, 1981, installation view – photo credits Christopher Bliss, courtesy of OCMA

Chris Burden’s Work in the 21st Century

Fast forward to the 21st century, Burden still managed to leave his audience speechless, though now there was no self-inflicted pain. Ghost Ship was a project launched in 2005. A small boat with self-navigation and no crew set off from Fair Isle, Scotland and made its way to Newcastle upon Tyne. The 30-foot handmade vessel was controlled via GPS system. The project was commissioned by Locus+, an agency working with artists on the production and presentation of socially engaged, collaborative and temporary projects. Since the outdoor installation of Urban Lighting LA in 2008, it has become one of the contemporary artistic symbols of the city and has rendered the sculptor even more famous. Comprised of 202 iron street lights, the structure resembles the Ancient Greek temples, which was the initial idea of the author. The lamps are of various sizes, from about 20 to 30 feet, and they used to light the streets of South California in 1920’s and 1930’s. They are eco-friendly, solar lights, which switch on at night. The installation is now located in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Burden took his architectural skills to a higher level by creating Metropolis II in 2011. It’s an impressive kinetic installation where 1,100 toy cars whiz through the network of 18 tracks. The installation of the futuristic city took Burden over four years to create and engineer. The mini cars are going at a scale speed of 240 mph. The sculpture is now exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Metropolis II was the last important piece done by Chris Burden.

Even when he was not inducting pain on himself, Burden was able to leave his viewers speechless

Chris Burden is a conceptual artist who exhibited in New York.
Chris Burden – Ghost Ship, 2005 – image via huffingtonpost.com


In 2016, a video documentary came out, showing times when Burden was risking his life, but also times when his work evolved and became sculpture and installation-oriented. It also depicts other artists influenced by Burdens’ work, such as Marina Abramovic, Vito Acconci, and Carolee Schneemann. He forced the viewers to redefine their usually narrow and outmoded definitions of art and will be forever remembered as someone who pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable. The artist was one of the most responsible ones for proving that art does not have to result in an object, focusing instead on legitimate artistic experiences.

He is represented by Kunzt gallery and Gagosian gallery.

Chris Burden lived and worked in Topanga Canyon, California.


  1. Knight C. Chris Burden dies at 69: artist’s light sculpture at LACMA is symbol of L.A., Los Angeles Times [October 3,2016]
  2. Schjeldahl P. PERFORMANCE, The New Yorker [October 3,2016]

Featured image: Chris Burden portrait – Photo credits Christian Saltas

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Chris BurdenGagosian Gallery, Le Bourget, Paris, FranceSolo
2014Chris Burden: The Master BuilderThe Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MASolo
2013Chris Burden: Extreme MeasuresNew Museum, New York, NYSolo
2012Skyscraper: Art and Architecture Against Gravity Chrysler Building, New York, NYGroup
2012Chris BurdenMagasin III, Stockholm, SwedenSolo
2012Small SkyscraperArmory Center for the Arts and One Colorado, Pasadena, CASolo
2012Metropolis IILos Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CASolo
2011AlbendaBurden, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2011State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CAGroup
2011Chris Burden: Three Ghost ShipsPortland Art Museum, Portland, ORSolo
2010Happy Birthday, Mr. Blum!Louis Stern Fine Arts, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Wall & FloorGalerie Almine Rech, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Outside the Box Edition Jacob Samuel, 1988-2010Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2010Walden Affairs Presents Nishiko & Nasan Tur & Chris BurdenWalden Affairs, Den Haag, The NetherlandsGroup
2010Julia Stoscheck Collection I Want to See How You SeeDeichtor Hallen Aktuelle Kunst, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2010The Talent ShowWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
2010Changing Channels, Art and Television, 1963-1987Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, AustriaGroup
2010Chris Burden: The Heart: Open or ClosedGagosian Gallery, RomeSolo
2009MOCA 30th Anniversary Gala,Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2009Chris BurdenMiddelheim Museum, Antwerp, BelgiumSolo
2008RetrospectiveGagosian Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008Archetypes and IconsGagosian Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008Biennale of SydneySydney, AustraliaGroup
2008Second NatureGalerie L'independence et au Parc Heintz, LuxembourgGroup
2008Chris Burden: What My Dad Gave MeRockefeller Center, New York, NYSolo
2007The Master Builder, Contemporary Prints in Portfolio at the New York Public LibraryNew York, NYGroup
2007Mixed SignalsRonald Feldman Fine Arts Inc, New York, NYGroup
2007Magasin 3Stockhold Konsthalle Stockholm, SwedenGroup
2007Chris Burden: Yin YangGagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CASolo
2006Los Angles 1955-1985Centre Pompidou, Paris, FranceGroup
2006Chris Burden: The Flying SteamrollerSouth London Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2006Chris Burden: 14 Magnolia Double LampsSouth London Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2005Chris Burden: Bridges and BulletsGalerie Krinzinger, Vienna, AustriaSolo
2004Chris Burden: Early WorkZwirner & Wirth, New York, NYSolo
2004Chris BurdenGagosian Gallery, West 24th St, New York, NYSolo
2003TRESSPASSING: Houses x ArtistsMAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles.Group
2003Defying Gravity: Contemporary Art and Flight North Carolina Museum of Art, RaleighGroup
2003Work EthicBaltimore Museum of Art, MDGroup
2003Concrete ArtEuropean Cultural Capital, Graz, AustriaGroup
2003American Academy Invitational Exhibition of Painting and SculptureAmerican Academy of Arts and Letters, New YorkGroup
2003M_ARS Art and WarNeue Galerie, Graz, AustriaGroup
2003Bridges and BulletsGagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CASolo
2003Small SkyscraperLos Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CASolo
2002PhotographyKent Gallery, New YorkGroup
2002Life Death Love Hate Pleasure Pain: Selected Works from the MCA CollectionMuseum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoGroup
2002Les Années 70: L'art en CauseMusée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux, FranceGroup
2002Trespassing: Houses x ArtistsBellevue Art Museum, WAGroup
2002Gestures and DisappearanceGallery of the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig, GermanyGroup
2002Biennale of SydneyAustraliaGroup
2002Material World from Lichtenstein to ViolaMuseum of Contemporary Art, SydneyGroup
2002Hommage to Rudolf SchwarzkoglerGalerie Krinzinger, ViennaGroup
2002Chris BurdenThe Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, EnglandSolo
2001LA-NY BenefitYamagata Studio, Malibu, CAGroup
2001Tele[Visions]Kunsthalle Wien, ViennaGroup
2001Extra Art: A Survey of Artist's Ephemera 1960-1999California College of Arts and Crafts, OaklandGroup
2001AuditCasino Luxembourg Forum d'Art Contemporain, SwitzerlandGroup
2001Un Art PopulaireFondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, ParisGroup
2001Mutilate?Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp, BelgiumGroup
2001New Settlements Copenhagen Contemporary Art CenterGroup
2001Burn: Artists Play with FireNorton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FLGroup
2001AzertyCentre Pompidou, ParisGroup
2001A Room of Their OwnMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
2001Chris BurdenThe Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
2000The Memory of ArtHistorisches Museum, Frankfurt, GermanyGroup
2000Hypermental Rampant Reality 1950-2000 from Salvadaor Dali to Jeff KoonsKunsthaus, ZurichGroup
2000American BricolageSperone Westwater, New YorkGroup
2000Open EndsMuseum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
2000Made in California 1900-2000Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of ArtGroup
2000Tempus Fugit: Time FliesNelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MOGroup
2000L'Oeuvre CollectiveLes Abattoirs, Toulouse, FranceGroup
2000Orbis TerrarumMuseum Plantin, Antwerp, BelgiumGroup
2000Art of Influence: Reflection in the Mirror of American CultureMuseum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoGroup
2000Making Light: Wit and Humor in PhotographyLoeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NYGroup
2000The Museum's Permanaent CollectionOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA.Group
2000Chris BurdenGagosian Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
2000A Tale of Two CitiesOrange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CASolo
2000Chris Burden: StructuresCrown Point Press, San Francisco, CASolo
1999Southern California Car CultureIrvine Fine Arts Center, CAGroup
1999The Century of the Body: Photoworks 1900-2000Culturgest, Lisbon, PortugalGroup
1999Le Monde RéelFondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, ParisGroup
1999Through the Looking GlassSnug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island, NYGroup
1999The American Century: Art and Culture 1950-2000The Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1999Drawn for the Artist's CollectionThe Drawing Center, New YorkGroup
1999Sliding ScaleSoutheastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, NCGroup
1999Airplane Factory Drawings and the Speed of Light MachineLondon Projects, London, EnglandSolo
1999When Robots Rule: The Two Minute Airplane FactoryTate Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
1999Chris BurdenMagasin 3 Stockholm KonsthallSolo
1998The Stockholm SyndromeStockholm, SwedenGroup
1998L.A. on Paper RE-LAXGalerie Krinzinger, ViennaGroup
1998Double TroubleMuseum of Contemporary Art San Diego, CAGroup
1998SpeedWhitechapel Art Gallery, LondonGroup
1998Performing BuildingsTate Gallery, LondonGroup
1998California SchemingMuseum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoGroup
1998Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object, 1949-1979Museum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
1997A UCI Retrospective: Four Decades of Achievement in the Visual ArtsArt Gallery, University of California at IrvineGroup
1997A Lasting Legacy, Selections from the Lannan FoundationMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
1997is there STILL LIFE?Kent Gallery, New YorkGroup
1997At the Threshold of the Visible: Miniscule and Small-Scale Art 1964- 1996Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NYGroup
1997Scene of the CrimeUCLA at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center, Los AngelesGroup
1997Dadaismo/Dadaismi, da Duchamp à Warhol alleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Milan.Group
1997Biennale de LyonMaison de Lyon, FranceGroup
1997Changing Spaces: Artist's Projects from the Fabric Workshop and Museum, PhiladelphiaMiami Art MuseumGroup
1997Sunshine & Noir. Art in LA. 1960-1997Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek,DenmarkGroup
1997United EnemiesGalerie Jiri Svestka, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
19971997 Biennial Exhibitionthe Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1997CAF Looks Forward and BackSanta Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, CAGroup
1996Nouvelles Acquisitions/95FRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, FranceGroup
1996Just Past: The Contemporary in MOCA's Permanent Collection, 1975- 1996Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (through 1997)Group
1996Blurring the Boundaries, Installation Art 1969-1996Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CAGroup
1996From Figure to Object: A Century of Sculptor's DrawingsFrith Street Gallery, LondonGroup
1996L'Art au CorpsMusées de Marseilles, FranceGroup
1996Monument et Modernité à Paris: art, espace public et enjeux de memoire, 1891-1996Fondation electricité de France, ParisGroup
1996Love Gasoline Mercer Union Gallery, TorontoGroup
1996The Influence of Duchamp & PicassoCrown Point Press, San Francisco, CAGroup
1996The Human Body in Contemporary American SculptureGagosian Gallery, New YorkGroup
1996Master Printers and Master PiecesKaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, JapanGroup
1996Systematic Aesthetics: Works from the Permanent CollectionSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CAGroup
1996WithdrawingRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1996Chris Burden: Selected WorksTanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1996Chris BurdenGalleri Ynglingagatan, Stockholm, SwedenSolo
1996Chris Burden: Selected WorksMarc Jancou Gallery, London, EnglandSolo
1996Three Ghost ShipsGagosian Gallery, Beverly Hills, CASolo
1996Chris Burden: Out of the MuseumGalerie Krinzinger, Vienna, AustriaSolo
1996Chris Burden: Beyond the LimitsMAK-Austrian Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, AustriaSolo
1995Paste UP, Past and PresentKent Gallery, New YorkGroup
1995From Behind the Orange CurtainMuckenthaler Cultural Center, Fullerton, CAGroup
1995Artistes/ArchitectsLe Nouveau Musée, Cedex, FranceGroup
1995CollisionsArteleku, San Sebastian, SpainGroup
1995After HiroshimaHiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, JapanGroup
1995Mini MundusWhite Columns Gallery, New YorkGroup
1995Cosmos, Des Fragmants FutursCentre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble, FranceGroup
1995Scratching the Belly of the Beast, Cutting Edge Media in Los AngelesFilm Forum, Los AngelesGroup
1995EnduranceExit Art, New YorkGroup
1995Chris BurdenCentre d’Art Santa Monica, BarcelonaSolo
1995Five Moonettes and Mini Video CircusFRAC Languedoc-Roussillon, Montpellier, FranceSolo
1995Chris Burden: The Spirit of the GrapeChampagne Laurain, Ay, FranceSolo
1994Virtual RealityAustralian National Gallery, CanberraGroup
1994Hors LimitesCentre Georges Pompidou, ParisGroup
1994Facts and FiguresLannan Foundation, Los AngelesGroup
1994Contemporary and Beyond – Works by UCLA Professors and Selected StudentsArmand Hammer Museum of Art, Los AngelesGroup
1994inSITE94Children's Museum of Art, San Diego, CAGroup
1994Where is Home? Kent Gallery, New YorkGroup
1994Works from the Permanent CollectionNewport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CAGroup
1994Zuge Zuge – The Railway in Contemporary ArtStadtische Galerie Goppingen, GermanyGroup
1994Painting and Sculpture: Recent AcquisitionsMuseum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
1994The Sacred and the ProfaneJan Baum Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1994(cut) – Los Angeles – 90 'ernes KunstsceneKunstforeningen, Copenhagen, DenmarkGroup
1994Outside the Frame: Performance and the ObjectCleveland Center for Contemporary Art, OHGroup
1994Chris BurdenLes Passagers de l'art, Montpellier, FranceGroup
1994SculptureGagosian Gallery (SoHo), New YorkGroup
1994Playtime: Artists and ToysThe Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Stamford, CTGroup
1994Toys/Art/UsCastle Gallery, New Rochelle, NYGroup
1994Mini Video CircusLe Consortium, Dijon, FranceSolo
1994C.L.B., The Grape and Me and the Holy TrinityFRAC Champagne-Ardenne, Remis, FranceSolo
1994Chris Burden: 5 MoonettesGalerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris, FranceSolo
1994L.A.P.D. Uniforms: America's Darker MomentsSmall Guns, Gagosian Gallery, (SoHo), New York, NYSolo
1993Co - ConspiratorsJames Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1993The Readymade Remade: R.Mutt's LegacyRuth Bloom Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1993LegumeGalleri F 15, Moss, NorwayGroup
1993Nouveaux Augueres – Acquisition 1992-1993FRAC Languedoc- Roussillon, Montpellier, FranceGroup
1993DrawingsLeo Castelli Gallery, New YorkGroup
1993In/Out of the ColdCenter for the Arts at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CAGroup
1993Co-Conspirators in the Third RoomJames Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1993MONEY POLITICS/sexNancy Drysdale Gallery, Washington D.C.Group
1993Mr. Sterling's NeighborhoodChristopher Grimes Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1993Artificial Paradise Burnett Miller Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1993Really Big ShowNew Canyon Gallery, Topanga, CAGroup
19931993 Whitney BiennialWhitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1993Chris Burden: Medusa’s Head65 Thompson Street, New York, NYSolo
1992LaxGalerie Krinzinger, ViennaGroup
1992Just PatheticAmerican Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1992Marking the Decades: Prints 1960-1990Baltimore Museum of Art, MDGroup
1992Helter Skelter: L.A. Art of the 1990'sMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
1992Chris Burden: 5 ShipsMiller Nordenhake Gallery, Cologne, GermanySolo
1992Chris Burden: The Other Vietnam Memorial and the Big WheelLannan Foundation, Los Angeles, CASolo
1992Chris BurdenJosh Baer Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1991Places With a Past: Site Specific Art In CharlestonSpoleto Festival, U.S.A., Charleston, SCGroup
1991DislocationsMuseum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
1991El Sueno ImperativoCirculo de Bellas Artes, MadridGroup
1991MechanikaContemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, OHGroup
199120th Century CollageMargo Levin Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1991DevicesJosh Baer Gallery, New YorkGroup
1991Power: It's Myths, Icons and Structures in American CultureIndianapolis Museum of Art, INGroup
1991Sculptors' DrawingsPaula Cooper Gallery, New YorkGroup
1991PersonaKent Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1991LettersChristine Burgin Gallery, New YorkGroup
1991In Public: Seattle 1991Security Pacific Gallery, Seattle WAGroup
1991Illegal AmericaOtis/Parsons Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1991EnclosureLos Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1991Connected PastBarbara Krakow Gallery, Boston, MAGroup
1991The Sailing DestroyerJosh Baer Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1991Medusa’s HeadThe Brooklyn Museum, NYSolo
1990TrainsMichael Klein Gallery, New YorkGroup
1990Video in Kolnischen KunstverinMunich, GermanyGroup
1990Art Conceptual, Formes ConceptuellesGalerie 1900/2000, ParisGroup
1990Seven ObsessionsWhitechapel Gallery, LondonGroup
1990Just PatheticRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1990Past and PresentRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1990Illegal ArtExit Art, New YorkGroup
1990Chris Burden, Mario Merz, Bruce NaumanFred Hoffman Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1990TSWA: Four Cities ProjectNewcastle, EnglandGroup
1990New Works for New SpacesWexner Art Center, Columbus, OHGroup
1990SamsonDaniel Buchholz Gallery, Cologne, GermanySolo
1990Chris BurdenGalerie Juergen Becker, Hamburg, GermanySolo
1989Image World: Art and Media CultureThe Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
19891989 Biennial ExhibitionThe Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1989Prints: A Changing ExhibitionCirrus Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1989Public DomainKent Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1989Breaking Down BoundariesHenry Art Gallery, University of Seattle, WAGroup
1989The 1980's: Prints from the Collection of Joshua P. SmithNational Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.Group
1989Forty Years of California AssemblageWight Art Gallery, University of California, Los AngelesGroup
1989SamsonJosh Baer Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1989Chris BurdenKent Fine Arts, New York, NYSolo
1989Devil DrawingsChristine Burgin Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1988Committed to PrintMuseum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
1988Identity: Representations of SelfThe Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1988New Works on PaperRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1988Selections from the Permanent CollectionNewport Harbor Museum, Newport Beach, CAGroup
1988Lost and Found in California: Four Decades of Assemblage Art Pence Gallery, Santa Monica, CAGroup
1988Information as OrnamentFeature Gallery and Reazac Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
1988Art at Pomona 1887-1987: A Centennial CelebrationPomona College, CAGroup
1988Chris Burden: A Twenty Year SurveyNewport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CASolo
1987Art Against AIDSNew YorkGroup
1987Artist's StatementsAustria Center, ViennaGroup
1987Fringe PatternsCleveland Center for Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OHGroup
1987Sculpture ArenasMandeville Art Gallery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CAGroup
1987All the Submarines of the United States of AmericaChristine Burgin Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1987A Monument to Megalopolises Past and FutureLos Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CAduo
1987All the Submarines of the United States of AmericaHoffman Borman Gallery, Santa Monica, CASolo
1987Model of Sex Tower and Drawings for Realized and Unrealized ProjectsRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
1986Individuals: A Selected History of Contemporary Art 1945-1986Museum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
1986A Southern California CollectionCirrus Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1986Teaching Artists-The Faculty of Art and DesignWight Art Gallery, University of California, Los AngelesGroup
1986Television's Impact on Contemporary ArtThe Queen's Museum, Flushing, NYGroup
1986Famous for Thirty SecondsArtists Space, New YorkGroup
1986American RenaissanceMuseum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FLGroup
1986Poetic ResemblanceHallwalls, Buffalo, NYGroup
1986Lumieres, perception-projectionCentre internationale d'art contemporain, Montreal, Québec, CanadaGroup
1986Inaugural ExhibitionMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
1986Television's Impact on Contemporary ArtThe Queen's Museum, Flushing, NYGroup
1986Products and PromotionSan Francisco Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
1986Sprocket's MoonNew Langton Arts, San Francisco, CAduo
1985Modern Machines: Recent Kinetic SculptureWhitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1985Recent Kinetic SculptureThe Whitney Museum of American Art, NYGroup
1985Between Science and FictionSan Paolo Biennial, BrazilGroup
1985No! Contemporary American DADAHenry Art Gallery, University of Washington, SeattleGroup
1985Inspired by LeonardoSan Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CAGroup
1985Brainwork as ArtworkLos Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1985Chris Burden: The Artist and His ModelsLowe Art Museum, Miami, FLSolo
1985Tower of PowerWadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CTSolo
1984In the Shadow of the BombMount Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MAGroup
1984A Recent Survey of International Painting and SculptureMuseum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
1984Content: A Contemporary Focus, 1974-1984Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.Group
1984American SculptureMargo Leavin Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1984American and EuropeanL.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CAGroup
1984Salvaged: Altered Everyday ObjectInstitute for Art and Urban Resources at P.S. 1, New YorkGroup
1984Art Park at Manhattan ArtManhattan Art, New YorkGroup
1984International Festival of Video ArtSaw Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario, CanadaGroup
1984Money in ArtNewspace Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1984Olympic ShowCirrus Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1984Return of the NarrativePalm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CAGroup
1984Video: A RetrospectiveLong Beach Museum of Art, CAGroup
1984National Video Festival Olympic ScreeningsThe American Film Institute, Los AngelesGroup
1984Beam DropArt Park, Lewiston, NYSolo
1984Cost Effective Micro-Weaponry That WorksRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
19831984 – A PreviewRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1983Automobile and CultureMuseum of Contemporary Art, Los AngelesGroup
1983Deeds and FeatsContemporary Art Center, New Orleans, LAGroup
1983International Performance FestivalRotterdam, HollandGroup
1983California CurrentL.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CAGroup
1983Site StrategiesThe Oakland Museum, Oakland, CAGroup
1983Summer ShowRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1983What Artists Have to Say About Nuclear WarNexus, Inc., Atlanta, GAGroup
1983Preparing for WarBrooklyn Army Terminal, NYGroup
1983Cost Effective Micro-Weaponry That WorksRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NYSolo
1982Echange Entre Artistes 1931-1982 Pologne-USAMusee d'Art Modern de la Ville Paris, Pologne, FranceGroup
1982The Atomic SalonRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1982Prints by Contemporary SculptorsYale University Art Gallery, Washington, D.C.Group
1982Revolutions Per MinuteRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1982War GamesRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1982A Tale of Two CitiesSan Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TXGroup
1982Illegal AmericaFranklin Furnace, New YorkGroup
1982Eight Artists: The Anxious EdgeWalker Art Center, Minneapolis, MNGroup
1982Premonitions of the Corporate WarsNourse Gallery, Washington, D.C.Group
1982Anti-Apocalypse: Artists Respond to the Nuclear Peril Ben Shahn Galleries, William Paterson College, Wayne, NJGroup
1982New WorkRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los AngelesGroup
1982Forgotten Dimensions...A Survey of Small Sculptures in California NowFresno Art Center, Fresno, CAGroup
1982The Flying Kayak and Devil DrawingsRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
1981The Museum as Site: Sixteen ProjectsLos Angeles County Museum of ArtGroup
1981Usable ArtMyers Fine Arts Gallery, Plattsburgh State University College of Arts and Sciences, Plattsburgh, NYGroup
1981TV in PlaceSan Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CAGroup
1981Forty Famous Californians - Recent Unique Works on PaperJudith Christian Gallery, New YorkGroup
1981California: A Sense of IndividualismL.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CAGroup
1981The Fix-It-Up ShowLos Angeles Contemporary ExhibitionsGroup
1981Forty Famous Californians – Recent Unique Works on PaperJudith Christian Gallery, New YorkGroup
1981Sculpture in California, 1975-1980San Diego Museum of Art, CAGroup
1980TableauLos Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, Claremont Graduate School, Claremont, CA.Group
1980Contemporary Art in Southern CaliforniaHigh Museum of Art, Atlanta, GAGroup
1980First Person Singular: Recent Self-PortraiturePratt Institute, Brooklyn, NYGroup
1980Southern California DrawingsJoseloff Gallery, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, West Hartford, CTGroup
1980Art TalksKPFA-FM94 and KALX-FM90.7, Berkeley, CAGroup
1980Science Fiction: Imaginary VoyagesBronx Museum of the Arts, NYGroup
1980Sculpture in California: 1975-1980San Diego Museum of Art, CAGroup
1980The Gun ShowGreat Western Fair, Los Angeles County Fairground, Pomona, CAGroup
1980C.B.T.V. and B-Car, Film and Video DeptWhitney Museum of American Art, New York, NYSolo
1979Born in BostonDe Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MAGroup
1979The Reason for the Neutron BombRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New YorkGroup
1979Images of SelfHampshire College Art Gallery, Amherst, MAGroup
1979Video Artists, Books and Guest PerformersKansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MOGroup
1979The Big Wheel, Devil Drawings and SculpturesRosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
1978From Pastel to Notation: Recent DrawingsSan Francisco Art Institute, CAGroup
1978The Citadel (installation/performance)Los Angeles, CASolo
19771977 Biennial ExhibitionThe Whitney Museum of American Art, New YorkGroup
1977Documenta 6Kassel, GermanyGroup
1977A View of a DecadeMuseum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoGroup
1977The Artist's BookMandeville Art Gallery, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CAGroup
1977C.B.T.V.Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NYSolo
1977Full Financial DisclosureJan Baum/Iris Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
1977B-CarRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NYSolo
1976Painting and Sculpture in California: The Modern EraSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CAGroup
1976New Talent Award Winners '63-'76Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los AngelesGroup
1976Via Los AngelesPortland Center for Visual Artists, ORGroup
1976RelicsRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NYSolo
1975Verbal/VisualArt Gallery, University of California, Santa Barbara, CAGroup
1975Projects VideoMuseum of Modern Art, New YorkGroup
1975BodyworksMuseum of Contemporary Art, ChicagoGroup
1975Southland Video AnthologyLong Beach Museum of Art, CAGroup
1975Yankee IngenuityGalerie Stadler, Paris, FranceSolo
1975B-CarDe Appel, Amsterdam, NetherlandsSolo
1975Commentary DrawingsRiko Mizuno Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
1975Selections, 1971-1974Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NYSolo
1974L'Art CorporelGalerie Stadler, ParisGroup
1974Word WorksMt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CAGroup
1974Art as Living RitualPoolerie Gallery, Graz, AustriaGroup
1974California ClimateHamilton College, Hamilton, NYGroup
1974A Photographic ReviewRonald Feldman Fine Arts, New York, NYSolo
1971Body MovementsLa Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, CAGroup
202Tower of PowerMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, AustriaSolo