Promotional item from Tom Sachs' 'Haute Bricolage' exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery 11 September to 23 October 1999.
New York: Mary Boone, 1999.
Printed paper bag (254 × 108 × 63 mm) orange, text and border in black in a design reminiscent of Hermés packaging; front lightly faded, lightly rubbed, two nicks to top edge. Near-fine.
This promotional item was produced to accompany Tom Sachs’s 'Haute Bricolage' exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery, New York. On the reception desk during the exhibition was an Alvar Aalto vase filled with live bullets which were available for visitors to take home in these orange paper bags which were designed to evoke Hermés signature packaging. The exhibition also included 'Ace Boone Coon', a which comprised of a cabinet filled with Sachs' own home-made guns.
Following a police investigation Mary Boone was arrested on 29 September and charged with unlawful distribution of ammunition and with resisting arrest. Then, after deciding that Sachs' guns were functional, she was further charged with unlawful possession of a shotgun. All charges were later dropped.
Boone’s arrest coincided with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s attack on the Brooklyn Museum of Art where the 'Sensation: Young British Artists From the Saatchi Collection' exhibition was touring. In particular he singled out Chris Ofili's painting of a black Madonna partly obscured with elephant dung and with female genitalia in the background, despite not having seen the painting. Giuliani proceeded to threaten to cut off the museum's city subsidy and remove its board if the show was not cancelled. In all probability this assault on contemporary art was merely an attempt by Giuliani to pander to and attract conservative votes.
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