Matta's mural-like painting measures 10 by 32 feet, making it likely the largest painting in LACMA’s collection. According to the museum the abstract work was created in response to the Vietnam War and the Watts riots in Los Angeles; the phrase "Burn, Baby, Burn" was chanted at the riots, having been popularized for R&B music by a local DJ. The piece remained a part of Matta’s personal collection until his death in 2002.
In a written statement, LACMA's curator of Latin American art, Ilona Katzew, said, “Like Picasso’s Guernica (1937) — a work that Matta greatly admired — Burn, Baby, Burn is a bold indictment of the destructiveness of mankind and a manifesto for peace.”
LACMA has not yet announced when the new acquisitions will go on public view.