Indiscrete - Brian Swanson

Where is it?

Concourse C

Swanson's Indiscrete can be found in Concourse C near Gate C-10.

About the Art

The indiscrete or upholstered settee appeared in Paris around 1860. The three linked armchairs were most often upholstered both front and back. Like the ladies' dresses of the time, they evoked pneumatic opulence so favored by the rich bourgeoisie. In the mid to late 19th-century, the success of the upholsterer rivaled that of the cabinetmaker. Upholstery had by then reached the same status as the rich carvings on earlier furniture designs.

Brian Swanson's take on the settee is in the form of three connected seats made of sheet metal with cast iron feet. The unit is all of a piece with the backs of the three seats curving out from the same central hub. The top of the central hub is decorated with a yellow pyramidal form. There is a brown-colored patina on the metal, heightening the Parisian ambience of the chair.

"My designs are collaborations with those designers [of the reused steel components] that solved their problems long ago. The accomplishment of this with elegance and complexity are the markers that my sculptures represent." – Brian Swanson

The Details


Brian Swanson




Sculptural seating (perforated sheet metal, woven wire fabric, metal found objects)


2' 6" high x 5' 6" in diameter

Did you know?

The woven wire 'fabric' you see on the seat is used to sort industrial gravel, providing durability to the material's current purpose.

  • <p>© Brian Swanson</p>
  • <p>© Brian Swanson</p>
  • <p>Photo courtesy of Don Wilson</p>

About the Artist

Brian Swansonʼs functional art pieces are loose derivations of historical designs. His materials, vintage found objects and scrap metal from junkyards, put a spin on and give edge to the classic constructions of leisure and rest.

Short Bio

Brian Swanson received an M.A. in sculpture in 1980 at Central Washington University, a B.A. in art with a teaching certificate in 1974 at Western Illinois University, and an associate of art degree in 1970 at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois.

Similar Artwork

Take a seat on another Swanson piece at the Sea-Tac Airport. You will find The Borne on Concourse B and on STQRY through the link provided below.

Indiscrete - Brian Swanson

Artist Brian Swanson created this 19th-century seating unit, measuring about 5' in diameter, that recalls another time in cultural norms.