B. Wurtz presents sculptures, paintings and photographs for his first exhibition at Metro Pictures since his 2011 retrospective at the gallery. For more than 40 years Wurtz has collected and repurposed common objects such as tin cans, socks and plastic bags to create his understated yet insightful found-object sculpture. A 1973 drawing titled Three Important Things, which states “sleeping, eating and keeping warm,” set the parameters for the materials Wurtz would go on to use. Rather than transforming or attempting to elevate quotidian materials, Wurtz emphasizes their familiarity and makes them subtly extraordinary through a delicate balancing act of configuration. Wurtz’s thoughtful and elegant political statement is an influential model for art that attempts to offer quiet and profound insight into the everyday.
Though self-identified as a sculptor, Wurtz has consistently worked across media. In the exhibition, sculptures such as Black and Red (1984/2012), which incorporates a broken 1984 work, and a suite of mobiles made with straws, wires and buttons, are shown alongside wall pieces such as Wurtz’s “clocks” (2012/2013). Non-functional, these clocks take yoghurt lids and string for pendulums and magazine ads for clock faces. Like Black and Red, a series of untitled "button paintings" (1995/2012) are made from a single, four-part work that Wurtz has reworked. In two untitled pieces (both 2012) Wurtz takes several recycled plastic bread bags and sews them together to create large “quilts” that hang from the wall.
B. Wurtz moved to New York in the mid-1980s after studying at the California Institute of Arts and UC Berkeley. His work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions and has been included in group shows throughout the U.S. and Europe.