New York

Scott Burton

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New York

As the light comes up on a beige stage, one sees two blond, wooden, institutional-looking chairs on small platforms and, between the chairs, a bench, also of blond wood. Two men on stage echo the repetition of the identical chairs; both men are the same height, have short, dark hair, wearing t-shirts, bell-bottom trousers, and (punning visually on the chairs) platform shoes. But the performers, unlike the furniture, are not “arranged” symmetrically. One man stands upstage right, the other midstage left; their backs are toward one another.

So begins Scott Burton’s austere and elegant Pair Behavior Tableaux, his latest work in a series that includes Group Behavior Tableaux, 1972, and Solitary Behavior Tableaux, 1975. As in these previous pieces, the audience views the playing area from a distance of at least 50 feet. At Pair Behavior Tableaux one sits at the back of the Guggenheim’s auditorium,

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