Tom Sachs b. 1966, New York
Foamcore, thermal adhesive, Uniball Micro, resin, Bristol board, and Wite-Out
7 feet 2 inches x 17 feet 3 inches x 3 feet 2 inches (218.4 x 525.8 x 96.5 cm)
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York Gift, Anonymous Donor, 2003
Tom Sachs's large-scale installation Nutsy's (2002) offers a sustained commentary on the commercialization of high Modernism, brand names, identity, and consumption. Based on the idea that anything can be re-created in a do-it-yourself environment, Sachs has fashioned a series of “stations” in Nutsy's connected by a miniature roadway. A map and instructions guide viewers (and sometime-participants) through the environment, which is vaguely urban but signifies nowhere in particular. Along the way, one encounters a McDonald's stand where hamburgers and french fries can be prepared and consumed; a DJ booth with turntables; the iconic furnishings from Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion (1928–29); and a replica of the megalith Unité d’Habitation (1947–52), Corbusier's housing block in Marseille—all built to scale. Sachs's Unité, constructed from foamcore and Bristol board, painted with Wite-Out, and rendered with detailed accuracy, signifies the impossibility of originality as posited by Modernism itself: what was intended as a revolution in housing became the universal corporate style: the “McDonald’s” of architecture.