"Tom Sachs: Nuggets"

Tom Sachs' new pop-culture sculptures take center stage at Lora Reynolds Gallery

<b><i>African American Express</i></b> by Tom Sachs
African American Express by Tom Sachs

Austin has been the epicenter of all things Tom Sachs since his "Boombox Retrospective" launched at the Contemporary Austin in January. Listeners can hear the NYC-based artist's playlists on the pirate radio station 94.3FM, view his work at the Jones Center and Laguna Gloria, and can now find a further extension of his work living in the Project Room at Lora Reynolds Gallery.

The exhibition, titled "Nuggets," showcases the pop-infused sculptures from Sachs' more recent work, with the earliest piece dating from 2011. However, many of these efforts ring of the cultural subversion that helped cement Sachs' standing as a contemporary arts force in the Nineties. In Untitled ("I loved my sister's Barbie so very much. My parents, afraid that I'd turn out gay, encouraged carpentry. In secrecy, I made my own. It wasn't love, only lust."), Sachs crafts a plywood Barbie in the nude, complete with tacked-on wooden breasts. It's a crude rendition that tells a personal story of the artist's own relationship with the doll but also dismantles the emphasis on perfection and beauty that Barbie often encapsulates. Similarly, in African American Express, a black American Express card is fabricated into a prison shiv. It's another tongue-in-cheek sculpture that helps place classism and race – two subjects that Sachs frequently toys with – within the exhibit's scope.

"Nuggets" draws from works that are immediately identifiable as Sachs'; they ring of the artist's sardonic, cynical ethos. Fans of his will relish another opportunity to see his art celebrated in Austin, but Sachs fatigue is not something to be ignored. While a fine exhibition, "Nuggets" must compete for attention with the other Sachs exhibitions in town – and, ultimately, it feels like a redundant annex of the artist's work already on display.



"Tom Sachs: Nuggets"

Lora Reynolds Gallery, 360 Nueces #50, 512/215-4965
www.lorareynolds.com
Through April 25
READ MORE
More Lora Reynolds Gallery
"Richard Forster: Levittown" at Lora Reynolds Gallery
The artist's reconsideration of his suburban hometown hinges on the conflict between the mass-produced and the personal

Sam Anderson-Ramos, Oct. 7, 2016

"Frank Selby: High Writer" at Lora Reynolds Gallery
This show's eight works offer a rewarding investigation into the relationship between objects and images of them

Sam Anderson-Ramos, April 8, 2016

More Arts Reviews
The Hidden Room Theatre's <i>Henry IV</i>
The Hidden Room Theatre's Henry IV
Beth Burns' latest foray into Shakespeare will school you on how to present plays penned by the Bard

T. Lynn Mikeska, Sept. 22, 2017

Paper Chairs’ <i>Catalina de Erauso</i>
Paper Chairs’ Catalina de Erauso
Elizabeth Doss’ latest plays with history in a way that serves its feminist hero, and it’s also a comedy that knows its stuff

Elizabeth Cobbe, Sept. 22, 2017

More by Caitlin Greenwood
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
Kevin McNamee-Tweed: The Exit Interview
As he leaves Austin, the award-winning curator and artist reflects on the city's artists and art community

March 10, 2017

“I saw the world” at Pump Project
“I saw the world” at Pump Project
Imperialism and identity compete in Betelhem Makonnen’s solo show about a 19th century Ethiopian prince

Dec. 23, 2016

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Lora Reynolds Gallery, Tom Sachs, The Contemporary Austin, "Boombox Retrospective"

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)