Chris Burden’s ‘Ghost Ship’ Removed from the New Museum After 4 Years

Posted on: August 17th, 2017 at 5:00 am by

The New Museum is in expansion mode. In due course, the forty-year-old institution will expand its capabilities and facilities next door to 233 Bowery. Okay, fine. But what of the appendage protruding from its boxy facade?

The life-sized nautical ornament was pried from its four-story perch at the end of July.

It was four years ago that the photogenic Ghost Ship sailed down the Bowery to the New Museum. The exterior artwork, which arrived simultaneously with those the twin 36-foot rooftop towers, was installed as part of an exhibit by the late Chris Burden called “Extreme Measures.” Both placements are now memorialized in a creative canon that also boasts the “Hell, Yes” signage and Isa Genzkin’s rose.

New Museum says “Hell Yes,” March 2009

The New Museum usually swaps its exterior fixtures biannually, but let this one slide for four years. Leadership at the institution previously confirmed that Burden’s ambitious, skyline-changing installation remained on board as a memorial to Burden’s passing in May 2014 at the age of 69. With its departure, the grill-like facade is again bare.

And what’s next?

Well, they’re being secretive, but don’t be surprised to hear about a replacement this fall. In the meantime, a Bowery local previously floated a potential answer. What if Clayton Patterson was next to stand tall at the New Museum? Artist Curt Hoppe thinks the longtime neighborhood documentarian should receive such a three-story tribute. Here’s the mockup.

Photo: Curt Hoppe

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