• View of “B. Wurtz,” 2015–16. From left: Untitled (Autobiographical Sculpture), 1972; Untitled (Lampshade), 1986; Untitled, 2012. Photo: John McKenzie.

    B. Wurtz

    BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

    KNOW THYSELF, reads a 1992 B. Wurtz assemblage, Untitled (sock piece #7). The Delphic maxim is scrawled on a piece of canvas flanked by a pair of mauve tube socks. Is the artist talking to us? Or to the artwork itself? It might well be a question of the work’s own self-examination, for this quality is evident throughout the more than three hundred pieces—eighty-two objects, eight early videos, and 216 paintings on the bottoms of aluminum pans—on view in this first B. Wurtz retrospective, “Selected Works: 1970–2015,” curated by BALTIC chief curator Laurence Sillars.

    Wurtz says that he

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