This is what I would say is the more fantastic show of the new year. B. Wurtz manages to fill plastic bags, wire, old health-food containers and salad bags with an incredible amount of pathos. Although the materials are beyond humble, the construction is painstakingly calculated and deliberate. Far from the trash-mound trend of sculptures using found materials, these are for the most part delicate tabletop pieces. The opus of the show is a wall hanging for which Wurtz has sewn objects to a drab piece of cloth, making a stunning minimalist quilt. The simplicity of the work is deceiving, and viewing the show becomes a contemplative experience. Using mostly non-biodegradable material, Wurtz emphasizes the literal beauty of recycling and transforming the everyday object.
The three white paintings at Marc Foxx require you to spend some time with them. In the gallery’s small rear room, Schoorel shows three new works that at first glance look like white Robert Ryman paintings. Don’t go in looking for a quick fix — her subjects are only implied, ghostlike images, and it’s only after some time that a portrait will emerge, next a parade, and lastly a still life. Schoorel’s work deals with memory in the sense that it’s like a forgotten moment edging through a deceptively blank space; its ultrawhite light brings impressionism to a whole new level.