About the Exhibition
Kitchen Trees is the debut public art commission by New York-based artist B. Wurtz (b. 1948, Pasadena, California). This playful exhibition temporarily transforms the civic space of City Hall Park with five imaginative arboreal sculptures. They appear to grow like an oasis around the park’s historic fountain, echoing its circular forms and the spray of its jets with a splash of whimsy. Their composition is poised between meticulous order and energetic spontaneity, just as they simultaneously mimic and contrast the natural flora nearby.
For nearly fifty years, Wurtz has used found objects to create idiosyncratic assemblages related to basic human needs – food, clothing, or shelter. The sculptures here are made from everyday items found in the kitchen. Colorful colanders stacked atop each other sprout upward, forming bulbous trunks that seem like they could grow into endless columns. At the ends of their spindly branches, pots and pans sway in the breeze with a weightlessness balanced by overflowing plastic fruits and vegetables that dangle as if spilled from cookware cornucopias. Kitchen Trees is an inventive metamorphosis. Wurtz resourcefully re-uses these common materials in unexpected ways, yet still preserves their legibility. The resulting sculptures demonstrate a genuine appreciation for the value and beauty of ordinary things and help us see the extraordinary possibilities of our everyday surroundings. They celebrate potential where it might not otherwise be apparent, offering a different kind of creative nourishment for us to enjoy.
The exhibition is curated by Public Art Fund Associate Curator, Daniel S. Palmer.