New York

“Further Furniture”

Marian Goodman/Multiples

In recent years quite a few artists have begun to explore the implications of this shift in meaning, by making art which takes the form of furniture. For the most part work of this kind only looks functional, and in fact is really produced for esthetic purposes rather than everyday use. The artist may intend it to participate in its owner’s daily life, but by its very nature it is too significant to be treated as ordinary furniture. Art of this sort inserts itself mischievously into most of the hoary old debates about artistic practice: that the inner structure of a work of art should refer only to its own making, that art is frivolous unless it has a social function, and on and on. One could continue indefinitely, mouthing the formulas that are neatly compromised and made ridiculous by the best works in this genre.

Working in such a vein demands a certain amount of wit, and fortunately

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