Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel
Since rising to prominence in the late 1980s as a member of the group known as the Young British Artists (YBAs), Sarah Lucas has become one of the UK’s most influential and internationally recognized talents. Since representing Britain at the 56th Venice International Art Biennale in 2015 with a major solo exhibition titled ‘I SCREAM DADDIO’, Lucas’ work in sculpture reflecting objectified representations of the female body has become the work for which she is known best.
Now, her latest career-spanning survey at New York’s New Museum offers Lucas lovers a chance to experience the breadth and creativity of her over three-decade practice in its totality. Taking place across three palatial floors of the downtown New York institution, ‘Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel’ brings together more than 150 of the artist’s works in photography, sculpture, video and installation, many of which have never before been shown together in the US. Organized somewhat chronologically, the exhibition addresses the artist’s frenetic ‘smack the taste out of your mouth’ feminist statements along with the multiplicity of ways in which her work engages debates on power and the legacy of surrealism.
Opening with some of the Lucas’s earliest work in sculpture and collage, this expansive show reveals the artist’s career-long focus on both physical and metaphorical subject matter, as well as her steadfast use of unconventional artistic mediums as a way to further twist and challenge convention; seen in Lucas’ employment of domestic furniture as a substitute for body parts and the artist’s use of commonplace food, such as eggs and meat, as a means of exploring sexual ambiguity and the tension between the familiar and absurd. ‘Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel’ is a strong, smart, provoking and provocative show; a must see exhibition for a bona fide artistic experience honoring a true artist.