B. Wurtz. Works 1972 – 2014

B. Wurtz
Press release

Maisterravalbuena is pleased to present the first solo exhibition by B. Wurtz in Spain.
For more than 40 years, B. Wurtz’s work has been characterized by gathering, accumulating and putting together everyday objects, most of them related to consumption habits, resulting in sculptural pieces that, rather than sublimate or change the meaning of these commonly used objects, they provide evidence of both their formal quality and their function.
In 1973, B. Wurtz created a text piece entitled “Three Important Things”, which listed the three actions that the artist considers most important in life: “Sleeping, eating, keeping warm”. As if it were a manifest, from that date on his work shall be created under the parameters of these three actions, using objects that directly or indirectly refer to the act of eating, sleeping and sheltering: canned food, socks, hangers, plastic bags, buttons, supermarket leaflets or plastic boxes.
In his exhibition at Maisterravalbuena, B. Wurtz shows works from the beginning of his career in the 70’s to the present. Along with sculptures and installations, several paintings and two-dimensional pieces shall be shown, as well as a photographic piece. These last works are the key to understand how, through the qualities of the materials used, the artist changes from the sculpture to the two-dimension field almost imperceptibly.
The exhibition shows various scale sculptures created in different decades, like “Component sculpture”, 1972 (the oldest piece of the exhibition, preceding “Three Important Things”, 1973). This piece is essential to understand the diverse tensions that the artist generates through the soft and fragile materials present in later works such as: “Untitled” (green corduroy), 2006, made up of a found piece of cloth, shoe laces and wire; or the big-format sculpture “Untitled” (hanging flag piece), 2009, consisting of an assemblage of plastic bags, pieces of wood, some rope and wire.
In the exhibition we can also find two-dimension works: paintings “Untitled” (bread painting), 2011; “Untitled” (button painting), 1998, or “Untitled” (now), 2006 and assemblages, “Untitled” (Sunday), 2011.
One of his earliest photographic pieces is also exhibited: “Untitled”, 1979, consisting of three opposed photographs held by a wire structure.
B. Wurtz (1948, Pasadena, California) moved to New York in the mid 80’s, where he currently works, after studying in the California Institute of The Arts and in UC Berkeley. His work has been individually exhibited both in America and Europe, and he has taken part in group exhibitions in different international institutions. He shall shortly set up a retrospective exhibition in the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK.

Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Untitled, 2007. Wood, wire, coat hanger, clothes pins, plastic. 145 x 21 x 17 cm
Exhibition view
Exhibition view
Untitled (Sunday), 2011. Sink protector, clothespin, ink on paper, plastic bags, wire. 41 x 91 cm.
Untitled (Lock Series), 2012. Wood, doorstops barrel bolt. 14 x 16 x 6 cm
Untitled (Bread Painting), 2011. Acrylic and plastic bags on canvas. 165 x 122 cm
Untitled, 1993 - 1999. Sock, tin can, wood. 80 x 22 x 22 cm. Edition of 8
Untitled (Green Corduroy), 2006. Wood, wire, shoelaces, corduroy. 72 x 15 x 18 cm