Tom Sachs: SURVEY - America - Modernism - Fashion

Date
14.01.2006 – 23.04.2006
Location:
Astrup Fearnley Museet

The American artist Tom Sachs (b. 1966) has, in the course of the last ten years, distinguished himself as a significant artist with a remarkable visual language. In this exhibition we focus on his use of and reflections on the theme brands. The exhibition is divided into three main categories: America, Modernism and Fashion.


The first category, with references to Sachs’ home country, includes works dealing with American society: the office of the president, outer-space research, fast food, racism and the use of weapons. ‘Modernism’ comments upon modern urbanism, architecture and design, with particular emphasis on the ideas of Le Corbusier. The third category concerns the worldwide fashion industry, which influences our life every day through stringent demands on appearance and success.

These three categories comprise Tom Sachs’ personal studies of the human condition in our modern era. The artist poses critical questions concerning well-known products and social phenomena. These social and commercial “brands” (America, Modernism, Fashion) are important elements in what can be understood as modernity as such. The hallmark of modernity can be said to be a relentless drive towards advancement and prosperity, at the cost of personal identity and development. 

Tom Sachs’ artistic expression may be seen as a sharp contrast to the demand for effectivity and specialization. His artworks bear signs of being homemade; the materials are wood from stolen police barricades, re-circulated metal pipes and foamcore. Traces of glue, the heads of screws and welding seams are readily apparent, and bear witness to the underlying personal process. Tom Sachs’ art can be understood as a further development of Modernism’s focus on craftmanship and personal presence, a strong individual voice with clear political and social opinions. 

The exhibition is organized in close collaboration with the artist. The curators for the exhibition are Gunnar B. Kvaran, Grete Årbu and Hanne Beate Ueland.

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