new-york

B. Wurtz, Untitled (bread quilt), 2012, plastic bread bags, wood, string, thread, T-shirt, shoelace, caution tape, 80 x 45".

B. Wurtz

Metro Pictures

B. Wurtz, Untitled (bread quilt), 2012, plastic bread bags, wood, string, thread, T-shirt, shoelace, caution tape, 80 x 45".

The work of B. Wurtz, which returned to the attention of the art world in the late 2000s and early 2010s after flying under the radar for many years, reflects an austerity more pragmatic than visual. The artist recycles things ordinarily thrown away, but—as he laid out in the text of a 1973 drawing that has now taken on the power of a manifesto—he limits those materials to items related to food, shelter, and warmth: plastic lids of yogurt or hummus containers, bread bags, buttons, the plastic mesh sacks used for produce, shoelaces, ribbon, along with objects not so readily identified as well as modest additions of paint and wood. These he assembles into works, mostly sculptural, that balance the flimsiness of the materials against a jury-rigged monumentalism.

Among the sculptures and wall pieces in this show were a pair of small wood constructions, with vertical wire

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