The Easel

Archives: The New Yorker

7th June 2015

PERFORMANCE: Chris Burden and the limits of art

Opinion remains divided about Chris Burden, who died last week. He defined art as “a free spot in society, where you can do anything” and his performances included having himself shot in the arm and, another time, being nailed to a Volkswagen. He was also a video artist and a sculptor. Some obituaries seem undecided: none are as thoughtful as the older recommended piece. Images of his work are here

6th June 2015

Watching Them Turn Off The Rothko’s

Harvard University commissioned several paintings from Rothko for a dining room, failed to protect them and they have faded badly. Unable to be physically restored, hi-tech projectors instead shine coloured light on the paintings to compensate for the damage. Are they still authentic Rothko’s? “As one observer put it, when the lights go off, comedy turns into tragedy.”