Born in Greensboro, AL 1939
Died in New York, NY 1989
“His fiercely laconic work destroyed the boundaries between furniture and sculpture, between private delectation and public use.” – Robert Rosenblum
Scott Burton is best known for his large-scale sculptures in bronze and granite that take on the dual function of furniture. Burton began his artistic career at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in Provincetown, MA, and completed his BA at Columbia University, New York, and later received a MFA from New York University in 1963. Following his formal education, Burton continued to work in New York where he surrounded himself in the dance and theater communities. This can be attributed to his stent as a performance artist during the 1970s. During this time, Burton often used chairs as props in his performances that led him to creating his own furniture. He found an affinity for sculpture when he began creating works of sculpture that operated as functional furniture. Burton’s sculptures challenge the distinction between utilitarian design and fine art. Burton’s work has been widely exhibited, including solo presentations at the Tate, London, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Following the artist’s death in 1989, Burton became the inaugural artist of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, “Artist’s Choice” series; works by Burton have been exhibited at the museum regularly and his iconic work Pair of Rock Chairs permanently resides in the museum’s sculptor garden.