Robert Therrien: Table and Six Chairs

About the Exhibition

Robert Therrien: Table and Six Chairs features a single, monumental sculpture by Los Angeles-based artist Robert Therrien (b.1947, Chicago, IL). No Title (2003) (Table and Six Chairs) is a colossal table-and-chair set that stands almost ten-feet-high, so tall that viewers can easily walk beneath it. Therrien uses quotidian objects because he knows his viewers will be as familiar with their form and function as he is. This allows him to tap into the broad cultural resonance and narrative ambiguity of everyday forms. The experience of walking underneath the table and chairs, for example, can be at once intimate and uncanny, prompting childhood nostalgia or just physical disorientation. The work is made after the actual wooden table-and-chair set that Therrien has at home in his own kitchen. Although it is made of painted metal, the sculpture looks like it is wood.

For Therrien, No Title, 2003 (Table and Chairs) marks a new way of exhibiting his works; the table and chairs have always been shown in gallery spaces that required the viewer to walk under the work to see it. In the expansive atrium of 590 Madison, the viewer can get an all-over look at the table and chairs from far away. This shift is subtle yet important to Therrien, for whom the act of art-making is fundamentally about looking at something from a different perspective, and enticing viewers to do the same.



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