Nouveau Banquette, 1993

Brian Swanson
(American, born 1947)

Location: Green River College, Auburn


Artist Brian Swanson created Nouveau Banquette using hand-bent steel pipes, mesh, and perforated steel sheets.

The title and design of the bench reference Art Nouveau, an art movement of the late 19th and early 20th century. Art Nouveau had a unique style referencing natural forms and design elements from different world cultures. It focused on simplicity, beauty, and craftsmanship.

Swanson notes, "This piece was based on a design by Carlo Bugatti from around 1900. His designs had Moorish and Far Eastern influences, using a variety of materials: polished metals, silks, carved wood and paint. […] His version spoke to opulence, while mine refers to popular culture." Swanson painted the bench and sprinkled it with glitter. He added automotive reflectors and grill badges as decorative elements.

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Green River Community College.


Artist Brian Swanson creates sculptures and installations for public spaces, often using tools, machinery, and found objects. He is interested in the "machine age" and in found objects that have a history.
Swanson received an Associate's degree from Rock Valley College, in Rockford, Illinois. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a teaching certificate in 1974 at Western Illinois University, and an Master of Arts degree in sculpture in 1980 from Central Washington University in Ellensburg. He lived in the Seattle area during the 1980s and 90s. He currently lives in southern Utah.

Material CategorySculpture - coated metals
MediumSteel with mixed media
Dimensions5 ft 7 in x 11 ft x 21 in
ID NumberWSAC2002.140.000
Acquisition MethodDirect purchase
Artist LocationUtah, United States
Location Information
AgencyGreen River College
Artwork LocationGreen River College
Performing Arts Building (PA), main entrance
WA CountyKing
Site TypeCollege
Address12401 SE 320th St.
Auburn, WA 98092
Geo. Coordinates47.313770, -122.178404
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