The New Museum Takes “Extreme Measures”

By Wanxian Lin

The Extreme Measures exhibit by Chris Burden at the New Museum will shock and astonish you.

Located in Manhattan, surrounded by a vast array of Lower East Side stores, the New Museum is the perfect escape for art lovers in the city.

Even the exterior of this museum alludes to the uniqueness of its collection. For example, a large model of a ship is mounted against the front of the museum at the third floor level.

Extreme Measures can be described as strange, but it is this eccentricity that makes it memorable and leaves the visitors awestruck by the work they see that seems to defy logic.

As visitors walk through the galleries, they can see the strength and power of certain materials undergoing tests of intriguing designs. These objects range from the ordinary to the obscure, including fabric, sandbags, toy submarines, and more. Chris Burden uses them in experiments and stunts to test their limitations.

One piece in the exhibit, titled A Tale of Two Cities, 1981 showcases two cities at war in miniature figures, in which some of the miniature figures can only be seen through binoculars. The detailing on the miniature figures is complex and authentic, leaving an impression on many spectators and making them reluctant to turn away.

The exhibit acts as an extension of Chris Burden himself. He believes his work has no limits, and that it serves to inspire spectators to break free from their own limitations as well.

As the visitors go from one gallery to another, they continue to explore the quirky and wacky world of “extreme measures.” Also, the museum opened an additional educational center for those who would like to know more about Chris Burden’s extreme works of art.

It is a lot to take in but it is certainly worth the time. The entire atmosphere of the museum truly urges the visitor to slow down and enjoy the work of art that surrounds them. With its sleek and contemporary appearance inside and out, the museum fits right into the bustling and ever changing scene of the city.

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