AMERICAN HANDMADE PAINTINGSGALERIE THADDAEUS ROPAC PARIS
29 March 2014 -- 3 May 2014

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac is pleased to announce Tom Sachs’s seventh solo exhibition in the Marais gallery titled, American Handmade Paintings. The choice of this title is anchored in specific aspects that are dear to Sachs’s creative universe; his use of the American landscape as iconography and his endeavor to draw our attention to the way the works are made. Traces and marks of the handicraft are voluntarily 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.

Excerpted from an essay about the exhibition by Tom Healy, Fulbright Board Chairman:

"...this new work by Tom Sachs is sad, lovely and personal, so full of mature assurance and grace. I'm struck by how beautiful it is.  I'd even say Sachs is defining a new American sublime, embracing our flaws, our fall, our tarnish, but still stubbornly flirting and hoping, playing the role of the romantic artist as only an American could, still wearing that Goodwill smile, even when all of us know some pervert is wearing an ankle bracelet because at Goodwill kids are groped in the dressing rooms in the back.  

What's particularly moving to me is that, while all his work has handmade qualities, this body of work can get rid of the word "qualities" and we can just say "handmade." It feels quiet, personal, made slowly, over time, equal parts love and regret.  These works are his.  This is him."