Nothing Is Sacred in Tom Sachs’s New Show at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery

Get ready for "Sachsified versions of modernist masterpieces."

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 30: Artist Tom Sachs attends the Opening Reception of STAGES at Deitch Projects on October 30, 2009 in New York, New York.
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike.
Jeffrey Deitch attends the Opening Reception of STAGES at Deitch Projects.Photo: Courtesy of Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike.

Jeffrey Deitch attends the Opening Reception of STAGES at Deitch Projects.
Photo: Courtesy of Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike.

Jeffrey Deitch is going back to the ’90s at his old Deitch Projects space this spring for a show featuring artist Tom Sachs.

In a press release announcing the upcoming exhibition, the dealer recalled his first introduction to the artist. “I was shocked to see a pile of stickers on my gallery reception desk in the spring of 1996 with the outrageously provocative phrase ‘Nuke the Swiss’ printed above a red cross. ‘They were left there by that funny guy who comes in here all the time,’ my staff explained.”

Tom Sachs, <em>Nuke the Swiss</em>. <br>Photo: Tom Sachs.

Tom Sachs, Nuke the Swiss.
Photo: Tom Sachs.

In the years since, Deitch and Sachs have often flirted with the idea of working together on an exhibition, but it’s taken two decades to make their dreams a reality. Last year, the pair got together for one of Sachs’s tea ceremonies, which concluded, Deitch wrote, with a “perfectly measured line of cocaine” served in a lacquer box.

With his tea ceremony-inspired show at Noguchi Museum and the “Boombox Retrospective” traveling to the Brooklyn Museum, the timing was finally right for a gallery exhibition.

Deitch describes the work in the upcoming show as “Sachsified versions of modernist masterpieces” like Brancusi‘s Le Coq, akin to the bootleg versions of blockbuster films created by video store clerks Jack Black and Mos Def in Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind. Other pieces will include Sachs’s versions of pedestrian objects such as a photocopy machine, a milk crate, and a laundry basket.

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 30: Artist Tom Sachs attends the Opening Reception of STAGES at Deitch Projects on October 30, 2009 in New York, New York. Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike.

NEW YORK – OCTOBER 30: Artist Tom Sachs attends the Opening Reception of STAGES at Deitch Projects on October 30, 2009 in New York, New York.
Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Nike.

Deitch Projects closed in 2010, when Deitch was named director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA); however, he has recently begun staging exhibitions at the old gallery, which had been previously occupied by Suzanne Geiss Company. His first effort, “Cameron: Cinderella of the Wastelands,” was an iteration of an exhibition he originally conceived for MOCA. Last October, Deitch hosted “The Wolfpack Show,” featuring the homemade props and costumes made by the Angulo brothers, the isolated children and cinephiles who were the subject of Crystal Moselle’s documentary The Wolfpack.

Tom Sachs: Nuggets” will be on view at 76 Grand Street; May 5–June 4, 2016. 


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