Pushing the Limits


In conjunction with “Extreme Measures,” Chris Burden’s museum-wide exhibition, “Pushing the Limits” is presentation of artist drawings, correspondence, ephemera, photographs, and video footage culled from the New Museum’s rich archival collection.

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Chris Burden’s hand-drawn 1986 proposal for Fist of Light, which was turned down by the New Museum and realized by the Whitney Museum in 1993, gives insight into the artist’s previous conversations with this institution.

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Giving insight into the artist’s previous conversations with the institution, the exhibition features Burden’s proposal for the artwork Fist of Light, which was initially turned down by the New Museum in 1986 (and later realized by the Whitney Museum in 1993). The greater assembly of materials on view represents a variety of strategies by which artists, critics, scholars, and curators have tested the conditions and parameters of the institution. This includes documentation of realized and unrealized projects that engaged the New Museum’s street-facing windows at its first location at 583 Broadway as an installation space, discursive public programs such as “Cross Talk: A Multicultural Feminist Symposium,” and performance work such as “The Decade Show Performance Series.”

The exhibition presents archival documentation of proposals and works by: ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), Lyle Ashton Harris, Dara Birnbaum, Chris Burden, PAD/D (Political Art Documentation/Distribution), Dancenoise, Jimmie Durham, Ethyl Eichelberger, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Linda Montano, John Kelly, Merian Soto, Carmelita Tropicana, David Wojnarowicz, and others.

“Pushing the Limits” is organized by Johanna Burton, Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Engagement, and Tara Hart, Digital Archivist.

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Generous endowment support is provided by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Skadden, Arps Education Programs Fund, and the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the New Museum.

This program is made possible, in part, through the support of the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Education and public programs are made possible by a generous grant from Goldman Sachs Gives at the recommendation of David B. Heller & Hermine Riegerl Heller.

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