The New School, Tishman Auditorium
63 Fifth Ave. between 13th & 14th Sts.
Monday, September 17, $10, 6:30
Exhibition continues in City Hall Park through December 7
kitchen trees slideshow
California-born, New York-based artist B. Wurtz will be at the New School on September 17 to give a talk about his latest project, the Public Art Fund installation “Kitchen Trees,” in City Hall Park through December 7. The whimsical site-specific show surrounding the fountain features five arboreal found-object sculptures made of colanders, each totemlike work a different color of the rainbow — red, orange, yellow, green, blue — topped with plastic fruits and vegetables (apples, bananas, corn, cucumbers, potatoes, pears, plums, peppers) hanging from upside-down pots and pans. Curated by Daniel S. Palmer, it’s a vibrant celebration of the mundane and the everyday, and it might very well make you hungry for a home-cooked meal. “With my work, I’m just looking at the world and exactly what it is, not wishing it were something else but trying to make something hopefully positive using ordinary things,” Wurtz says in a Public Art Fund video.
“He will look at something in a way that’s very different from just simply its function,” Palmer adds. Palmer will moderate the talk, which will explore Wurtz’s fifty-year career. The artist, who studied with John Baldessari and Barbara Kruger, has created assemblages with plastic bags, dish towels, socks, buttons, and other household materials to investigate his central themes of food, clothing, and shelter, but this is his first installation of monumental works. In conjunction with “Kitchen Trees,” “Domestic Space,” part of his Photo/Object series, continues at Metro Pictures in Chelsea through October 20. Don’t search for grand statements in any of Wurtz’s work. “I don’t have to tack on meaning later. It’s already built in,” he explains in the short video, which also uses his music for the soundtrack.