April 14–25, 2013, Bureau, 127 Henry Street, New York, NY

Opening reception:
Sunday, April 14, 6–8 p.m., Bureau

Screening of Wurtz’s early video work and
discussion with Josh Tonsfeldt and Hannah Whitaker:
Wednesday, April 17, 7 p.m., 155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn, NY

Late hours and reading by Rachel Levitsky:
Sunday, April 21, 6–8 p.m., Bureau

Triple Canopy and Bureau are pleased to announce “History Works,” an exhibition of sculptures and photographs by B. Wurtz in collaboration with the magazine. Since the early 1970s, Wurtz has exploited the sculptural potential of everyday objects. Incorporating such common household items as shoelaces, plastic bags, and socks into his artwork, Wurtz recalls the familiar language of the objet trouvé but with distinctive buoyancy and humor. While his works often read as simply stated facts, this directness belies the sophisticated language of objects, and our complicated relationship to even the most modest among them. Wurtz’s work often invites comparison between things: art to non-art, the mass-produced to the handmade, and, in the case of this exhibition, a photograph to the object it represents.

“History Works” consists of three new sculptures, each paired with a photograph that distorts the scale of the object or confounds perspective, echoing the artist’s seminal Photo/Object series. These works will be accompanied by what Wurtz calls a “family of objects” collected or created by him over the decades: a rubber-band ball, a cat toy, and three objects forged by Wurtz as a child—a crude model of Mission Santa Barbara, a wooden skyscraper, and a miniscule human head. The sculptures that comprise “History Works” are inspired by these objects and their stories.

For the past several months, Wurtz has collaborated with Triple Canopy on the development of “History Works,” including an iteration of the project to be published in Triple Canopy’s online magazine in April. The online publication further advances the logic of the photographs, representing the sculptures and objects—however incompletely, or inaccurately—with digital tools, rendering them unfamiliar, embedding them in alternative visual narratives. The magazine iteration of “History Works” will also include video work made by Wurtz when he was a graduate student at California Institute of the Arts, and rarely shown publicly.

On April 17, Triple Canopy will hold a screening of Wurtz’s early videos, which offer a glimpse into the origins of his artistic practice, at 155 Freeman Street, its space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Wurtz will discuss his work with artist Josh Tonsfeldt, with whom he has collaborated, and Triple Canopy contributing editor Hannah Whitaker.

To inquire about available works, please write to office@bureau-inc.com.

  • B. Wurtz moved to New York in the mid-1980s after studying at the California Institute of the Arts and UC Berkeley. His work has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions and has been included in group shows throughout the US and Europe.
  • Hannah Whitaker is a photographer and Triple Canopy contributing editor based in New York City.
  • Rachel Levitsky ’s first full-length volume, Under the Sun, was published by Futurepoem books in 2003; subsequent works include Neighbor and The Story of My Accident Is Ours. She is the founder and co-director of Belladonna*, an event and publication series of feminist avant-garde poetics.