At Paul Kasmin, Scott Burton Shows That Chairs Can Be Art—and Vice Versa

THE DAILY PIC: Crossing sculpture and design took Burton somewhere new.


THE DAILY PIC (#1314): How likely is it that a gallery with three spaces would manage to fill all three at once with outstanding shows? That’s the hat-trick that the Paul Kasmin Gallery has pulled off in New York, and that’s why I’m giving it three Daily Pics in a row.

Today’s is dedicated to a lovely exhibition of the “functional sculptures”—or “sculptural furniture”—of Scott Burton, who died of AIDS in 1989 and has never been fully recognized as the true genius he was. The very fact of having to make objects that can (more or less) hold the human body led him to a broader range of forms than most sculptors deploy, and put more at stake. The fact of having to get over the high bar of fine art means that his “chairs” are smarter and tougher than most design.

As farmers and gardeners know, hybrids are often a better bet than purebreds. (Artworks © 2015 Estate of Scott Burton/Artist Rights Society (ARS), NY)

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