The Whitechapel Gallery is presenting the first London, public gallery, solo exhibition of the internationally significant artist Sarah Lucas. Bringing together over two decades of sculpture, installation and photography, SITUATION explores Lucas’s remarkable career and assesses the vital role she has played in British art.
Since the late 1980s, Lucas has created sculptures and installations that focus on the body. Drawing upon everyday materials such as cigarettes, tights, furniture and vegetables, she probes representations of gender, sexuality and national identity. Her work alludes to historic movements such as Pop Art and Arte Povera while addressing the universal concerns of nature and mortality.
SITUATION features Lucas’s iconic works which use inanimate objects to take the shape of bodies, including Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab (1992) and Spinster (2000). Also shown are early sculptures such as Still Life (1992), Where does it all end? (1994) and Get Hold of This (1994) as well as important works from the last decade including Unknown Soldier (2003), Mary (2004), The King (2008) and Jubilee (2012).
In recent years Lucas’s work combines fragments of the body with forms and materials found in nature. The exhibition includes new works called NUDS (2009 – present); stuffed tights are moulded into sculptures suggestive of embracing bodies, their intertwined forms offset by plinths of concrete breeze blocks. Her Loungers (2011) series will also be shown featuring suspended plastic garden chairs, combined with material limbs and buckets.
Responding to the architecture of the Whitechapel Gallery, Sarah Lucas has created an installation which reconsiders the affinities and dialogues between earlier works and new sculptures created for the exhibition. The show expands on Lucas’ year-long project SITUATION in which she constructed a series of sculptural installations in a former office building.
Sarah Lucas was born in London in 1962. Lucas studied at the Working Men’s College, London (1982-3), London College of Printing (1983-4) and at Goldsmiths College, London (1984-7). In 1988 Sarah Lucas took part in the influential group show Freeze, curated by Damien Hirst, and her first solo exhibition was held at City Racing in 1992. In 1993 Lucas set up The Shop with Tracey Emin, a six-month project in an empty retail-outlet on Bethnal Green Road, London. Sarah Lucas has exhibited extensively and major solo exhibitions include: Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, She was one of the leading figures in a generation of young British artists who emerged during the 1990s.