FIRST LOOK | TOM SACHS’ ‘AMERICAN HANDMADE PAINTINGS’ AT GALERIE ROPAC, PARIS
Easily one of the most compelling minds working in the art world today, Supertouch buddy Tom Sachs has built a career around an utterly unique art methodology based on thematic meditations by means of unexpected material explorations. In his new show “American Handmade Paintings” at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris, the choice of this title is anchored in specific aspects that are central to Sachs’s creative universe; his use of the American landscape as iconography and his constant endeavor to draw our attention to the way the works are made. Unlike art that seeks to mask the artist’s technique, in Sachs’ art, traces and marks of the handicraft are always left visible and become an integral part of the work.
This exhibition features mainly wall works highlighting two distinct techniques in Tom Sachs’s practice: pyrography and marquetry. By using fire as the sole drawing tool, pyrography permits to create a work without any additional material, while the craft of marquetry is a complex assembly of pre-painted, inlaid elements.Consumerism, corporate identity, cultural imperialism, technological progress, identity and the loss of it, the relation of survival and destruction are all at the heart of Tom Sachs’s work.
In this exhibition, Sachs’s meticulously handcrafted paintings depict such diverse topics as the Goodwill logo, a McDonald’s sign in Chinese, the famous Scotch tape package and the American flag; all modern icons that document successes and failures of the American experience and the ambiguities and contradictions inherent in its society and culture.
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