Yesterday, May 10th, the artist Chris Burden passed away. While few people recognize the name, almost every resident of the City of Angels knows his most famous work. LACMA’s entry plaza is home to “Urban Light,” Burden’s sculpture in the form of a Classical Greek temple unexpectedly composed of 202 restored, antique cast-iron street lamps. Installed in 2008, it rapidly became something of an L.A. symbol. “Chris’ work combines the raw truth of our reality and an optimism of what humans can make and do,” said LACMA director Michael Govan. With “Urban Light,” he said, Burden told him that he “wanted to put the miracle back in the Miracle Mile.”
Burden’s final sculpture, a lyrical homage to Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Brazilian aviator who flew the first practical dirigible around the Eiffel Tower in a momentous 1901 flight, will be shown for a month at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in a special exhibition beginning May 18th.
Both of the photos were taken today in respect of Burden’s passing.
(Thanks to the LA Times for some of the information above)