New York City 1

Tom Sachs

American, b. 1961

Duct tape on panel


Contemporary American sculptor Tom Sachs is best known for his off-kilter recreations of modern pieces which question consumer culture and appropriation.  

Having initially studied at the Architectural Association in London, Sachs completed a BA at Bennington College, Vermont in 1989. He moved to New York shortly afterwards, where he was struck by the Mondrian artworks displayed at the Museum of Modern Art.  

New York City 1, a recreation of Mondrian’s work of the same name made using duct tape and plywood, is an early example of Sachs’ signature style which he categorises as bricolage, describing a bricoleur as someone “who hobbles together functional contraptions out of already given or collected materials, which he re-tools and re-signifies into new objects with novel uses, but more importantly, which he regenerates into a new, oscillating syntax: one of loss, gain, and more than anything, one of play.”  

His Mondrian-inspired series was shown in the 1999 exhibition Creativity is the Enemy at the Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris. “Making it is a way of having it,” he explained of his admiration for the original work.  

Sachs’ work is held in a number of permanent collections, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, as well as the Centre Pompidou, Paris and Fondazione Prada, Milan. 

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