Scott Burton, Two-Part Chairs, Right Angle Version (a Pair), 1987

Scott Burton, designed 1983, fabricated 1987.
African Juparana granite. 38 1/8” h.

Photo credit: Dave Wheeler

Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, 2005, in honor of Karen W. Morse, President, and Sarah Clark-Langager, Curator. Installation funded by Virginia and Bagley Wright and President Karen W. Morse's designation from the Amendt Presidential Endowment. © Estate of Scott Burton/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


Burton first earned a reputation with performance and installation work in the 1970s. His "Two-Part Chairs, Right Angle Version (a Pair)," 1983-87, represent his concept of furniture as sculpture, which evolved out of his need for settings for his "behavioral tableaux" where actors were involved in staged confrontations. From his use of conventional household furniture as well as modern furniture design, he evolved to rock carved chairs and interlocking granite chairs reminiscent of minimalist sculpture. Known for transforming the idea of public art, Burton integrated functional design into fine art. These chairs serve as guardian figures at the front entrance of the Biology Building.