B. Wurtz: PAN PAINTINGS
Essay by Erica Cooke
Design by Ann Bobco
Edited by Barney Kulok
For nearly five decades New York–based artist B. Wurtz (born 1948) has transformed humble materials and discarded objects into humorous and wryly beautiful works of art. This full-color, Swiss-bound monograph focuses on the artist’s iconic series of ”pan paintings” made on disposable aluminum roasting pans and to-go containers. In 1990, Wurtz discovered patterns stamped in the bottom of these mass-produced products and grasped their potential as “readymade abstract paintings.” In the three decades since, he has worked across a wide variety of pan shapes and sizes, applying dazzling combinations of color using the patterns as predetermined compositions. Collected here for the first time, Pan Paintings provides an overview of the various permutations in color and shape that comprise this long-term series. The book includes an essay by art historian and curator Erica Cooke which considers this critically acclaimed body of work and its deep entanglement with the craft-oriented ethos and amateur culture of postwar America.
9.75 x 9.75 in.
Distributed by Artbook / D.A.P.
"Edited by artist and publisher Barney Kulok with an essay by art historian and curator Erica Cooke, this monograph centers on the work of New York-based artist B. Wurtz. The artist is famous for transforming nondescript disposable aluminum roasting pans and to-go containers into works of art by painting on them."
- Forbes Magazine: Best Art Books of 2020
"A boon to the spirit. Delight just about anyone with B. Wurtz’s iconic “pan paintings”—radiant acrylic works that use aluminum baking pans and takeout containers as their canvases. This 104-page book compiles three decades’ worth of these metamorphosed vessels and includes an essay by art historian and curator Erica Cooke."
- ARTnews 2020 Guide to Gifts for Artists
B. Wurtz was born in 1948 in Pasadena, California, and lives and works in New York. He opened a major solo exhibition This Has No Name at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles in 2018 while simultaneously presenting his first public commission, Kitchen Trees, through the New York City Public Art Fund. In 2015 he was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom. In 2016 the exhibition traveled to La Casa Encendida, Madrid. He has had additional solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Freiburg; White Flag Projects, St. Louis; and Gallery 400, University of Illinois at Chicago. His work has been included in group exhibitions at MoMA PS1, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon.
“Again and again, Mr. Wurtz’s work invites us to think about what we look at, and moreover what we look for, when we look at art. Then it gives us something slightly different, something equally visual, gratifying and, above all, charged with the deliberation and focus that are the essence of art.” - Roberta Smith, New York Times, 2011