Scott Burton, ‘Pair of Steel Chairs’, 1987-1989, Anderson Collection at Stanford University

About Scott Burton

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.”

American, 1939-1989, Greenboro, Alabama

Group Shows

Museum of Modern Art, 
New York, NY, USA,
An International Survey of Recent Painting and Scultpure
The Tate Gallery, 
London, UK,
New Art at the Tate Gallery