Chris Burden

MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art

Chris Burden’s exhibition in Vienna’s Museum für angewandte Kunst (MAK) wasn’t just his first large-scale show in a European museum. It also marked the peak of a European “rediscovery” of the artist that began in 1990, particularly in France, and that could be seen in others’ work throughout the decade. “Chris Burden: Beyond the Limits” offered a summation of Burden’s various installations and projects since the 1977 C.B.T. V., as well as drawings and the Deluxe Photo Book, 1974 (fifty-three documentary photographs of performances dating to 1971); as such it was a corrective to the view of Burden throughout Europe, where his renewed importance is still based largely on his early, Aktion-inspired “events” and performances.

In the MAK show, twelve monumental sculptures and projects largely unknown in Europe, such as The Big Wheel, 1979 (in which the rear wheel of a motorcycle, flush against

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