BiographyBorn 1966, New York City


TOM SACHS is a sculptor, probably best known for his elaborate recreations of various Modern icons, all of them masterpieces of engineering and design of one kind or another. In an early show he made Knoll office furniture out of phone books and duct tape; later, he recreated Le Corbusier's 1952 Unité d'Habitation using only foamcore and a glue gun. Other projects have included his versions of various Cold War masterpieces, like the Apollo 11 Lunar Excursion Module, and the bridge of the battleship USS Enterprise. And because no engineering project is more complex and pervasive than the corporate ecosystem, he's done versions of those, too, including a McDonald's he built using plywood, glue, assorted kitchen appliances. He's also done Hello Kitty and her friends in materials ranging from foamcore to bronze.

A lot has been made of the conceptual underpinnings of these sculptures: how Sachs' sampling capitalist culture, remixing, dubbing and spitting it back out again, so that the results are transformed and transforming. Equally, if not more important, is his total embrace of "showing his work." All the steps that led up to the end result are always on display. On a practical level, this means that all seams, joints, screws or for that matter anything holding stuff together, like foamcore and plywood, are left exposed. Nothing is erased, sanded away, or rendered invisible. On a more philosophical level, this means that nothing Sachs makes is ever finished. Like any good engineering project, everything can always be stripped down, stripped out, redesigned and improved.

The reward for work is more work.

--Mark van de Walle

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1987 Architectural Association, London

1989 BA, Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont

Selected Exhibitions

2015 Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective 1999-2015, The Contemporary Austin

2014 AMERICAN HANDMADE PAINTINGS Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris

2007 ISLANDIA Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris

2001 WHITE Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris

2010 LE CORBUSIER INSTALLATION, Venice Biennial of Architecture

2013 BARBIE SLAVE SHIP, Biennale de Lyon


2011 WORK Sperone Westwater, New York

2012 SPACE PROGRAM: MARS Park Avenue Armory, New York

2011 DRAWINGS Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris

2004 CONNECTICUT Sperone Westwater, New York

2008 BRONZE COLLECTION Lever House, Baldwin Gallery, Thaddaeus Ropac

2005 McDONALDS Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo

1995 CULTURAL PROSTHETICS Morris-Healy Gallery, New York

2006 TOM SACHS - SURVEY Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo

1999 HAUTE BRICOLAGE Mary Boone Gallery, New York

1997 TOM SACHS Galleria Gian Enzo Sperone, Rome

2007 LOGJAM Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines

2006 TOM SACHS Fondazione Prada, Milan

2007 SPACE PROGRAM Gagosian, Beverly Hills

2003 NUTSY'S Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin

2008 ANIMALS Sperone Westwater, New York

Public Collections

Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York

The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, Norway

The Berezdivin Collection, Puerto Rico

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France

The Cartin Collection, Hartford, CT and New York, NY

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France

Citigroup Art Collection, New York, NY

The Contemporary Austin, Austin, TX

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR

Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa

Ellipse Foundation, Contemporary Art Collection Arte Centre, Cascais, Portugal

Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy

The Getty, Los Andgeles, CA

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA

The Jewish Museum, New York, NY

The Jumex Collection, Mexico City

Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein Collection, Liechtenstein

Lever House Collection, New York, NY

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Maramotti Collection, Reggio Emilia, Italy 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

Montblanc Art Collection, Hamburg, Germany

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

NASA Permanent Collection, Washington DC

Schauwerk Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, Germany

The Sammlung Essl Collection, Vienna, AustriaThe Sammlung Goetz Collection, Munich, Germany

The Sammlung Olbricht Collection, Essen, Germany and Berlin, Germany

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

The Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC

University of North Carolina, Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Greensboro, NC

Vanhaerents Collection, Brussels, Belgium

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT