Tom Sachs

American Handmade Paintings


American Handmade Paintings

American Handmade Paintings

Press release

Opening in the presence of the artist on Saturday, March 29th from 6pm to 8pm


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.


Tom Sachs (b. 1966) lives and works in New York. After studying at the Architectural Association in London in 1987, he received a BA from Bennington College, Vermont, in 1989. His work has been widely shown in Europe and in the United States, and recently seen in France in the context of the Lyon Biennial with the work Barbie Slave Ship exhibited in Saint-Just Church. Recent solo exhibitions include: Space Program: Mars at the Park Avenue Armory, New York (2012), Tom Sachs: Bronze Collection at the Lever House, New York (2008), Logjam at the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (2007), Tom Sachs at Fondazione Prada, Milan, Tom Sachs - Survey: America, Modernism, Fashion at the Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst in Oslo (2006) and NUTSYʼs at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin (2003). Sachs’s work is included in major museum collections: Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.