Scott Burton

American, 1939-1989

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Scott Burton

American, 1939-1989

129
Followers
Biography

Out of a desire to marry function with aesthetics in the tradition of Russian Constructivism, De Stijl, and the Bauhaus, Scott Burton developed a body of large-scale furniture-sculptures. Chairs in particular resonated with Burton, who, in his early days as a performance artist, relied on them as props. Pair of Rock Chairs (1980-81), one of Burton’s best known works, consists of a pair of large stone chairs in the sculpture garden at MoMA, whose jagged, unfinished appearance (except for the smooth surface of the seats) evokes the natural landscape. In accordance with Burton’s belief that art should “place itself not in front of, but around, behind, underneath (literally) the audience in an operational capacity,” many of his site-specific sculptures are in public spaces; their offer of midday respite to office workers once prompted Burton to describe himself as a “lunch artist.”

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Solo show at a major institution
MoMA PS1
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
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documenta, and 3 more
Biography

Out of a desire to marry function with aesthetics in the tradition of Russian Constructivism, De Stijl, and the Bauhaus, Scott Burton developed a body of large-scale furniture-sculptures. Chairs in particular resonated with Burton, who, in his early days as a performance artist, relied on them as props. Pair of Rock Chairs (1980-81), one of Burton’s best known works, consists of a pair of large stone chairs in the sculpture garden at MoMA, whose jagged, unfinished appearance (except for the smooth surface of the seats) evokes the natural landscape. In accordance with Burton’s belief that art should “place itself not in front of, but around, behind, underneath (literally) the audience in an operational capacity,” many of his site-specific sculptures are in public spaces; their offer of midday respite to office workers once prompted Burton to describe himself as a “lunch artist.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
user
Solo show at a major institution
MoMA PS1
group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Instituion
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 3 more