Concrete Tables/Stools


As an artist, Burton sought to convey the transcendent through basic forms that people encounter daily. He lamented that art had become a secret language comprehensible only to initiates, and thus choose to use familiar, functional forms. The ambiguity between the categories of furniture and art is one of the engaging qualities of his work. Certainly, sculpture can be furniture, or vise-versa, yet in using furniture forms, Burton compels the spectator to focus on the artistic form of an object, rather than a defined category. The viewer is invited to sit on the Concrete Tables/Stools and enjoy the conundrum as part of the experience. The use of cast concrete, an austere material, presents an ascetic unlike some of Burton’s other works, carved from exotic and colorful stone, whose luxury would appear out of place in an exterior environment.

Burton, initially a performance artist and later a sculptor, was born in Greensboro, Alabama. He studied at the Hans Hoffmann Studio in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and at Columbia University if New York. He went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in 1963 from New York University.