new-york

Scott Burton

Artists Space

When artists employ ordinary pieces of furniture—tables and chairs—they generally employ in addition a formal strategy to lift these objects out of their ordinariness. Lucas Samaras imposes obsessive Transformations on his chairs. George Brecht presents chairs in mysterious conjunction with other common objects. Ree Morton makes her own chairs, giving them a stylistic correspondence to the privatist tableaux where they appear. And so on. The point is that the common sort of intelligibility offered by ordinary furniture is destroyed, to be replaced by intelligibility more acceptable in one or another of the sectors of contemporary art-world sensibility. Scott Burton rejects such strategies. His use of tables and chairs deliberately preserves the intelligibility that comes with them—that is built into them, so to speak.

In the last Whitney Biennial, he showed two tables. They were quite

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