Hole Punch
Wallpaper|April 2019

Artist Tom Sachs delivers a chair with air power.

Marina Cashdan
I hope it’s used as a chair,’ says Tom Sachs with a glimmer in his eye. ‘And that people climb on it and scuff it up, and spill red wine on it, and tell the stories of their lives, and pass it to their grandchildren.’ As we examine his first manufactured chair, his childlike delight is infectious. We’re in Sachs’ labyrinthine workshop in lower Manhattan, brimming with the artist’s creations and buzzing with studio associates.

The chair is made of a subtle and elegant maple plywood routered with large holes, an innovation called lightening holes that harks back to Second World War British aviation. Sachs explains that removing unnecessary material makes a structure lighter and, counter-intuitively, stronger. ‘It doesn’t need as much strength to hold itself up. You remove structure where it’s not doing anything. So we drilled out as much as we could while making sure that there’s still support,’ he says. Striking yet simple, the chair features a flexible joint on the back that is designed to suit any individual’s height. It is tagged with a small metal plaque featuring a signature Sachs serial number.

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