America Is Hard to See

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Kids can listen and learn from this audio guide highlighting selected works in America Is Hard to See.

Scott Burton, Pair of Two-Part Chairs, Obtuse Angle, 1984

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Narrator: This sculpture is also a pair of chairs. Hard, granite chairs, but chairs you can actually sit in. Don’t worry—the artist wants you to!

Scott Burton wanted art to ''place itself not in front of, but around, behind, underneath (literally) the audience.''

Take a look at the position of these two chairs. Doesn’t it seem as if Burton is inviting you in, saying, “Come on, have a seat, let’s talk.”

Maybe he wants you to be part of the art. Come to think of it, you—just like a chair—have a back, legs, and a bottom, too.

The back of this chair is just like the seat. Both are made from the same L-shape; they fit neatly together, like a puzzle.

So, now that you’re sitting, what do you see? Who are you going to talk to? And what do you want to talk about?

Two granite sculpture chairs.

Narrator: This sculpture is also a pair of chairs. Hard, granite chairs, but chairs you can actually sit in. Don’t worry—the artist wants you to!

Scott Burton wanted art to ''place itself not in front of, but around, behind, underneath (literally) the audience.''

Take a look at the position of these two chairs. Doesn’t it seem as if Burton is inviting you in, saying, “Come on, have a seat, let’s talk.”

Maybe he wants you to be part of the art. Come to think of it, you—just like a chair—have a back, legs, and a bottom, too.

The back of this chair is just like the seat. Both are made from the same L-shape; they fit neatly together, like a puzzle.

So, now that you’re sitting, what do you see? Who are you going to talk to? And what do you want to talk about?


Scott Burton, Pair of Two Part Chairs, Obtuse Angle, 1984. Polished granite, each: 33 × 24 × 33 in. (83.8 × 61 × 83.8 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Lemberg Foundation, Inc. 84.32a-d © 2015 Estate of Scott Burton / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York