Ocula MagazineContentsView All
Featured ContentView All
Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’ Ocula Conversation Bani Abidi: ‘What you see in my films is what I know’

A group of voices accompanies me in the exhibition. They are singing words I cannot comprehend, yet the warm tunes are familiar: folk songs, love songs, songs of longing. There are letters, too. They speak of the quotidian details of a soldier's life: the hardness of the war, sending money to the family, and longing for familiar landscapes, food,...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future Ocula Report Aichi to Okayama: Art in Japan Looks to the Future 11 Oct 2019 : Stephanie Bailey for Ocula

There has been a flurry of triennial and biennial art activity in Japan this year. The Aichi Triennale opened in Nagoya this August, sparking a national debate about the shutting down of a display of formerly censored works—the result of public backlash against a burnt image of Emperor Hirohito and a statue commemorating the women forced into...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
Sponsored Content | Mazzoleni Gallery
Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

Fade out copy.
Read More

Sarah Lucas

b. 1962, United Kingdom

Sarah Lucas is a British artist known for bawdy, mischievous and confrontational sculpture, photography and installation. She arrived on the English art scene via the 1988 group show, Freeze, alongside several other young British artists coming out of Goldsmiths, University of London—among them the curator/artist Damien Hirst.

Lucas is a feminist who uses raunchy and morbid humour, irony and sexual puns to explore everyday English culture and sexual and psychological tensions. Her works reflect and satirise misogynist norms in general life, tabloids and pornography. In some of her earliest work (from 1991) this was done through a series of enlarged spreads of extracts from tabloid newspapers that exemplified seedy working-class male attitudes towards women.

In her photographic self-portraits—starting with the seminal Eating a Banana (1990)—she adopts a confrontational macho or 'butch' appearance while acting as an object of male desire through sexual euphemisms and suggestive body language. Sometimes this involves produce such as an uncooked chicken, fried eggs, bananas or fish acting as substitutes for male or female sexual organs. The same principle is extended to her installations, including Au Naturel (1994), in which two melons and a bucket alongside two oranges and a cucumber on an old mattress are used to represent a heterosexual couple in bed.

Alongside perishable produce, a common early motif in the artist's work was cigarettes. Whether the cigarettes act as the material of her work—as in Self Portrait with Cigarettes (2000)—or are seen in hand during one of her more vulnerable self-portrait photographs—such as Human Toilet Revisited (1998)—they are a strong presence in her art. They are a means of asserting independence and introversion, and are crucial to Lucas for art-making. They are a conjoined symbol of sex and death—a psychological paradox that fascinates the artist.

This use of commonplace items—from cigarettes to household furniture (including a freezer)—is typical of Lucas' sculptural practice. Following in the footsteps of Marcel Duchamp, who pioneered the use of the 'ready-made', the renegade Lucas sees the ironic and euphemistic potential in certain everyday objects. Her 1996 Is Suicide Genetic?, made from a toilet bearing writing, may be seen as a direct nod to Duchamp's 1917 Fountain.

Combinations of such ready-made items were sometimes used by Lucas as stand-ins for fragmented or whole bodies, as in Bitch (1995), where a table, T-shirt, two melons and a vacuum-packed smoked fish mimic a female body. Lucas positioned these ambiguous forms to resemble parts or the whole of the human body in sexual poses and emphasise organs associated with sex and desire.

A hallmark of her more recent sculpture (since 2009) has been the fleshy, human-like, long tubular forms made with stuffed tights and wire. These are arranged provocatively to reinforce their representation of sexualised female limbs. The way they twist and curve, sometimes engulfing themselves, is evocative of an intimate embrace. Lucas first began experimenting with the stuffed stockings in her 'Bunny' series (started in 1997).

Lucas' ambiguous forms are now often combined with common, art-irreverent materials like cinder blocks, merino sheep's jaws and ceramic toilets. In constructions such as Bike (2011), the limb-like tubular forms intertwine with these objects to form twisted corporeal parodies—caricatures that mimic misogynist sexual stereotypes.

Biography by Michael Irwin | Ocula | 2017
Fade out copy.
Read More

Featured Artworks

View All (17)
Margot by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasMargot, 2015 Plaster, cigarette, freezer
116 x 202 x 87 cm
Sadie Coles HQ
Chicken Knickers by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasChicken Knickers, 1997 C-type print
42.5 x 42.5 cm
Sadie Coles HQ
Tit-Cat Down by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasTit-Cat Down, 2015 Bronze
69.5 x 90 x 35 cm
Sadie Coles HQ
Floppy Toilet Twa by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasFloppy Toilet Twa, 2017 Cast resin, fridge
124 x 47.5 x 48 cm
Sadie Coles HQ
Sucky Thing by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasSucky Thing, 2011 tights, fluff, wire, ceramic toilet
69 x 35 x 60 cm
Two Rooms
Bike by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasBike, 2011 tights, fluff, wire, ceramic toilet, merino sheep jaw, stone, concrete blocks
64 x 69 x 208 cm
Two Rooms
Panoramadrama by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasPanoramadrama, 2011 tights, fluff, wire, ceramic toilets, concrete blocks
60 x 107 x 61 cm
Two Rooms
Galaxia by Sarah Lucas contemporary artwork
Sarah LucasGalaxia, 2011 Tights, fluff, merino sheep skull, concrete blocks, MDF
149 x 44 x 44 cm
Two Rooms

Recent Exhibitions

View All (4)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, New Order: Art, Product, Image 1976 - 1995 at Sprüth Magers, London
Closed
24 July–14 September 2019 Group Exhibition New Order: Art, Product, Image 1976 - 1995 Sprüth Magers, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Family Guy at Simon Lee Gallery, London
Closed
3–20 October 2018 Group Exhibition Family Guy Simon Lee Gallery, London
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Nudes at Sadie Coles HQ, London
Closed
11 April–26 May 2018 Group Exhibition Nudes Sadie Coles HQ, Davies Street

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Ocula Conversation Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Founder, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo started collecting contemporary art in 1992, after graduating from Torino University, where she studied business and economics. She began her collection with four works from the late-1950s and early-1960s by Italian artists: Carla Accardi, Tano Festa, Mario Merz and Salvatore Scarpitta. 'I enjoyed the idea of...

Fade out copy.
Read More

In Related Press

View All (25)
Art Talk: The Provocative and Explicit Art of Sarah Lucas Related Press Art Talk: The Provocative and Explicit Art of Sarah Lucas KCRW : 30 July 2019

OK, my friends. The subject of today’s Art Talk is the provocative and explicit art of British artist Sarah Lucas, currently on display at Hammer Museum. The tongue-in- cheek title of the exhibition, Au Naturel, is a French phrase meaning 'in the nude.' And nudity–plenty of nudity–fills the many museum galleries in the form of sculptures,...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Review: Sarah Lucas show at the Hammer Museum is naked but definitely not afraid Related Press Review: Sarah Lucas show at the Hammer Museum is naked but definitely not afraid Los Angeles Times : 17 July 2019

As a motivation for making art, sometimes enough is enough.That seems to be one motor driving Sarah Lucas, the cheeky British Conceptual artist whose always smart, often deliriously funny retrospective exhibition is at the UCLA Hammer Museum. More than 130 works in sculpture, photography, collage and video made over the last three decades are...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Sarah Lucas | Murphy Beds and A Lot of Yolk Related Press Sarah Lucas | Murphy Beds and A Lot of Yolk Flaunt Magazine : 10 July 2019

As women, the world infiltrates us with an obscene amount of signs and signifiers, which, in turn, overwhelmingly inform how we relate to our bodies. Playing with the concepts of objectification and vulnerability of the female body, Sarah Lucas, in her new show at the Hammer Museum, Au Naturel, critiques, but also empowers. Whether through casts of...

Fade out copy.
Read More
Eggs are being fried as art at the Hammer Museum. Let’s see what’s cooking Related Press Eggs are being fried as art at the Hammer Museum. Let’s see what’s cooking Los Angeles Times : 9 July 2019

The survey of the British artist’s work includes collage, photography, sculpture, video and installations, many of which humorously juxtapose everyday objects in a way that challenges assumptions about gender, sexuality, religion and power. One standout piece is Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab (1992), which features, well, two real fried eggs and a pita...

Fade out copy.
Read More

In Video & Audio

Sarah Lucas in conversation with Don Brown, film by Julian Simmons: UK at the Venice Biennale Related Video & Audio Sarah Lucas in conversation with Don Brown, film by Julian Simmons: UK at the Venice Biennale Film by Julian Simmons : 12 May 2015

Sadie Coles HQ is delighted to announce the release of a new film — specially commissioned by the British Council - marking Sarah Lucas's representation of Britain at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Shot and produced by Julian Simmons, the thirteen-minute documentary will be broadcast by The Guardian from Wednesday 6th May, to coincide with the...

Fade out copy.
View Video

Be among the first to know when new artworks and exhibitions by Sarah Lucas are added to Ocula.

WeChat

Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.

Scan to follow Ocula on WeChat.
iCal GoogleYahooOutlook