Paul Schimmel

  • Chris Burden, Doomed, 1975. Performance view, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, April 11, 1975.

    Chris Burden

    THROUGHOUT his long and varied career, Chris Burden strove to understand the principles behind how things work. Born the son of an engineer and a biologist in Boston, he used diagrams, models, and engineering to explore the limits of physical, psychological, and social space. Burden spent formative years as a teenager in Europe, where he began to appreciate an art that slipped seamlessly between ideas, science, and theology. Leonardo da Vinci became then—and remained—an influential model. Like Leonardo, Burden will be remembered as a visionary artist to the core.

    Fortuitous in his move

  • Paul Schimmel


    1 El Greco (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) At a time when we expect so much from artists at such a young age, David Davies’s El Greco exhibition told us a great deal about what we lack—the sustained nurturing of an artist throughout his entire career. After a long and awkward developmental period, El Greco finally came into his own in his late forties. Today we appreciate him not for his god-given talent or his facility with paint but because, like Cézanne, he created an electrifying and magical language that is arguably more relevant now than it was in his own day.



    THE EXHIBITION NOW titled “Public Offerings” has undergone a lengthy and complicated gestation. The idea of exploring the impact of art schools on the production of art in Southern California first came to LA MOCA curator Paul Schimmel when a series of ever more derisory articles looking at the phenomenon—Dennis Cooper’s “Too Cool for School” in Spin (July 1997), Andrew Hultkrans’s “Surf and Turf” in these pages (Summer 1998), and Deborah Solomon’s New York Times Magazine piece “How to Succeed in Art” (June 1999)—began to appear. To endow the proceedings with the requisite critical breadth,