Sunday, 17 January 2016

B. Wurtz exhibition at BALTIC

"American artist B. Wurtz is best known for his carefully assembled sculptures and installations made of a wide range of commonplace, discarded materials. A prideful appreciator of lowly objects, his practice is highly concerned with the ethics of re-use, yet is also highly engaged with art history.

Meticulous structures made from food wrappers, plastic carrier bags, shoelaces, locks, mop handles, takeaway trays, mesh bags and wooden blocks all, in some way, refer back to the human essentials of food, shelter and clothing. Highlighting the overlooked, never allowing the visitor to lose sight of what the pieces are made of, and how they are put together, Wurtz’s works succeed in channelling the many possibilities of these everyday materials."

Prior to visiting this exhibition I was not familiar with the work of B.Wurtz, and somehow this made the exhibition even more enjoyable. However, I must admit that, feeling a bit frustrated, I couldn't help thinking "if only I had done that!"

Despite the serious, considered and formal quality of the work, Wurtz uses materials in a playful manner, altering their function, and changing the context in which they usually are found.

Wurtz executes his ideas with rigour and commitment. In order for this work to have the impact that it does, it was important that he filled the space and used such a range of aluminium trays. It is through the mass that we appreciate the uniqueness of each individual item.

Ordinary objects and materials are given significance through their formal compositions.

Balance - Fragility - Precision - Instability - Elegance

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