Tom Sachs


copper pennies
2 1/4 x 10 3/4 x 10 3/4 inches

Though his artistic output varies greatly, Tom Sachs’ approach to making remains consistently DIY-bricolage in nature. No process is too obscure or common for the artist. How he makes his work is often as important as the final product, seen in pieces like his Leica camera made out of wood and jute or a Chanel chainsaw made out of cardboard. Sachs talks about his process of making and leaving his efforts visible:

I tried a number of times with other projects to use fabricators. The more I tried to erase the handicraft the way Donald Judd did—first of all, the more expensive it got. Secondly, the more my efforts were hidden. And I realized I’m competing with the people who make seamless objects, where you have no clue how it was produced…

In this dish made of soldered wheat back pennies (whose collectable value can be considerably higher than ¢1), Sachs has left the gold solder joints unpolished and visible. Typically, the joints would be hidden, functional elements, yet here they become part of the overall appearance of the work, standing in contrast to the perfectly shaped dish. (Interestingly, the bottom of the dish shows none of these solder points.) Sachs work has been included in many exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, and has been collected by the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco MOMA; and the Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo. Major solo exhibitions include SITE Santa Fe (1999), the Bohen Foundation, New York (2002), Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2003), Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo, and Fondazione Prada, Milan (2006).