LACMA’s Iconic ‘Urban Light’ Will Be Shut Off For Two Months

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A photo posted by Sonia (@soniademello) on Mar 23, 2016 at 1:41pm PDT

Get those selfies in before the end of the month, folks, because on May 1, “Urban Light,” the iconic Chris Burden lamppost sculpture that serves as the entryway to he Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is going to be closed to the public and dark for two months.

Restoration is the reason for the closure, the director of the museum’s conservation center tells the Art Newspaper. Not only is the gray paint fading (“creating a mottled uneven surface effect that is unsightly”), but some of the metal is also rusting.

Finding an “alternative paint system” was a two-year saga—the museum had to find something that’s “durable and possesses the right sheen and meets California’s new volatile organic compounds regulations,” which was not easy.

“Urban Light” was first turned on in February 2008. The project was born out of a purchase Burden made at the Rose Bowl Flea market in 2000—he took those first two elaborate cast iron lampposts and fixed them up without quite knowing what to do with them, but eventually he amassed a collection and began to arrange them together outside his Topanga Canyon studio; 202 of those lampposts sit out in front of the museum today. (You can read “Urban Light”‘s entire backstory, and more about Burden, here.)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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