Tom Sachs: Furniture in Chicago
A New York-based artist for the first time in more than twenty years Tom Sachs indicates the extension of his sculptural through practice ‘Tom Sachs: Furniture’ by Theaster Gates’ Rebuild Foundation and Anthony gallery at Stony Islands Arts Bank, Chicago from July 7 to September 4, 2022. Furniture from Sachs’ repertoire adorns the exhibition, a testament to the mixed media artist’s recreations of modern iconography through everyday materials like plywood. Along with his artwork, the public art The show transforms into a platform for Sach to showcase the range of his creative art, and his furniture signature is emphasized through the variety of holes and the use of clean-edged lines and blocks.
The time and dedication he put into producing his work for the exhibition goes hand-in-hand with his ethos of modernizing the maximalist trend by focusing on products with cleaner, simpler and better-formed edges. All handwork, resin, steel and ceramics play a part in Sachs’ sculptures, with plywood taking the spotlight as the main protagonist. Coming from the organic process, a closer look can reveal flaws and scars in the furniture, but these only reinforce the narrative of how these objects came to be and remove them from a glossed-over perception that they were made with or by the perfection in mind precise digitization of machines. For Sachs, his studio team functions as a teaching hospital or sect that worships plywood and an ethos of transparency, shaping their collective values that express their approach to making furniture.
Images courtesy of Rebuild Foundation, Anthony Gallery and Tom Sachs: Furniture | Model 83, Tom Sachs, 2022
Sculptural practice through furniture
The exhibits of the exhibition can be ordered on request. Memories of early crushes can be revived when viewers catch a glimpse of Love Seat, a latex-painted maple plywood bench. Perfectly shaped holes pierce through the frame of the seat and looking at the back of the sculpture the unitary design falls in sync, while rectangular plywood forms a continuity throughout the bench. The Love Seat also includes Spinneybeck leather cushions and armrests, and Sachs writes that there is a hand-engraved, sequentially numbered copper plate on each piece.
Sitting on a pier at sunset or fishing on a lake on a still afternoon can be accompanied by Sachs’ Crate Chair, a ConEd assembled barrier chair with stainless steel hardware. Signs of charcoal lines, chafed edges and dark stains underline the feature of the chair, which comes with a coffee table made from the same materials. Speaking of coffee tables: Sachs has also created one that exudes simplicity with its plain white color. The round finish is fitted over butterfly-shaped legs with its signature perforations. Viewed from a distance, the circular openings resemble a worried face thanks to the curved lower part of the piece.
ConEd Altec lamp, Tom Sachs, 2022
stories in the making
Other works of art and sculptures by Sachs – also winners of the design boom THE DESIGN AWARD 2021 in the artistic field (check out our exclusive art interview with the artist here) – on display in the exhibition include cassettes, packaging of Reese’s chocolate buttercups designed from his perspective, English china sets inlaid with red NASA, kitchen hood-shaped lamps and plywood boomboxes that transport the viewer back to the street culture of the past.
Through the exhibition rebuild the foundation and Anthony Gallery, Tom Sachs‘ Transparency with the idea of showing markings tells the story of manufacture. The more he tells the story of his works, the more viewers can invest in their personal belongings and form greater connections with the objects and rituals of their daily lives. As the show’s lyrics state, Sachs asks viewers to think about the objects they buy; the furniture they have; the sound systems and the music they play; and reminds them that everything is art. It’s about the rituals that activate it.
Crate Chair #13, Tom Sachs, 2018
Ileen Gray Lamp, Tom Sachs, 2002
Coffee table, Tom Sachs, 2022