TOM SACHS: WORK
February 25 - March 28, 2021
Acquavella Galleries in Palm Beach presents Tom Sachs: Work, February 25 - March 28, 2021
Acquavella Galleries is pleased to present Tom Sachs: Work, the artist’s first solo exhibition in Florida. Tom Sachs: Work emphasizes the artist’s desire to revisit long-held themes and ideas over decades, revising and expanding upon them. He refers to these processes as “multicycles,” a term coined by gallerist Mario Diacono, while the ritual of “work”—both a core element for Sachs as well as a recurring theme in his exhibitions—is itself a multicycle.
Evolving simultaneously, Sachs’ multicycles have been in progress for nearly four decades, growing and commingling within his works both practically and thematically. His paintings are synthesized from three major methods—conventional painting, wood-burning or pyrography, and marquetry—often condensing multiple elements in each work. In turn, layered themes of popular culture are prevalent throughout—boomboxes and music, space, Americana, and imagery from branded packaging and logos.
The history and variety of audio equipment—ranging from pristine high-end consumer arrays to the culture of monolithic Jamaican sound systems— has been an obsession of Sachs’ throughout his life. The three boomboxes in this exhibition are representative of an activity, event, or ritual. Varying in shape, size, and functionality, the boomboxes on view are cobbled together from high-fidelity stereo components, plywood boxes, and stoneware. Sound systems have always been a part of Sachs’ experience, and are a necessity for the ritual of work and borne from the artist’s love of music. They are a steady progression though the philosophy remains unchanged.
TDK C-90F is a new marquetry painting depicting a composite of a 1969 TDK brand C-90F cassette tape. Antiquated yet still viable, the magnetic tape of cassettes is the only audio medium available that allows the user to stop the device and hold its place in perpetuity. Sachs views this technology as having a supernatural quality—it will always start exactly where it was last stopped. TDK C-90F employs this feeling of transcendence through the pyrographic lettering on the plywood surface, further emphasizing the simplified case design and oversized TDK logo.
Tea Set is a new sculpture invoking Sachs’ personal connection to the traditional tea ceremony as an amalgam of the Cha-do experience and 4 o’clock English tea. A Japanese porcelain vessel, or Chawan, is emblazoned with the NASA logo. Small cups for serving, known as copitas, also sit atop an unadorned plywood and aluminum tray, reinforced with fiberglass and epoxy resin, the same materials employed in the manufacture of spaceships. They are joined by bowls for creamer and sugar as well as small spoons based on the McDonald’s coffee stirrer of the 1980s. These items prioritize the sensory and spiritual experience of tea, and its role in both traditional and contemporary rituals. Each item in the tea set, handmade in English porcelain, leaves the artist’s fingerprints and imperfections visible. The stirrers, cast in sterling silver with gold plated McDonald’s arches, are accompanied by a small holder reading “clean” and “dirty,” made in resin-ware, Sachs’ version of lacquerware.