clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Story of "Urban Light," LA's Great 21st Century Landmark

When the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) opened a reconfigured campus in 2008 designed by architect Renzo Piano, one pavilion was supposed to be anchored with a replica steam locomotive that hung from a 160-foot crane and belched smoke, a still-to-this-day-theoretical work by Jeff Koons. Instead, LACMA head Michael Govan decided to erect an "open-air temple" on the site, made up of 202 vintage lampposts, painted a uniform gray and arranged symmetrically. Seven years later, it's hard to imagine a Los Angeles before "Urban Light," now the most famous work by Chris Burden, who died Sunday at his long-time home in Topanga Canyon.

More about artwork made for the age of the iPhone and Instagram, at Curbed LA >>