In this unique early work, Gary Simmons taps into viewers’ nostalgia for childhood and elementary education, covering a used schoolroom chair with hundreds of chalkboard erasers. The slight indentation in the center of the seat reads like the bodily impression from the last sitter. The work implies the absence of the figural body, but suggests that the implication can be stronger than its actual presence. The erasers are evocative of the impermanence of time and youth just as they represent a once common scholastic tool, itself on the verge of extinction.


  • Title: Erasure Chair
  • Creator: Gary Simmons
  • Creator Birth Place: New York, New York
  • Date Created: 1989
  • Location: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Physical Dimensions: 34 x 22 1/2 x 18 inches (86.4 x 57.2 x 45.7 cm)
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Publisher: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Rights: © Gary Simmons
  • Medium: Felt and wood
  • Art Form: Sculpture
  • Credit Line: Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Gift of Blake Byrne. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York.

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