Sarah Lucas has become recognised as one of Britain’s most significant contemporary artists. Spanning sculpture, photography and installation, her work has consistently been characterised by irreverent humour and the use of everyday ‘readymade’ objects – furniture, food, tabloid newspapers, tights, toilets, cigarettes – to conjure up sexual puns and corporeal fragments. By turns brutal and elegiac, lewd and lyrical, Lucas’s art has continued to confront such ‘big themes’ as sex, death and abjection.
The British Council has commissioned artists to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale since 1938 and Sarah Lucas’s exhibition will be the twentieth solo presentation. The British Council’s commission follows on from her major retrospective,SITUATION Absolute Beach Man Rubble at Whitechapel (2013), and surveys of her work at Secession in Vienna (2013-14) and at Tramway in Glasgow (2014).
Emma Dexter, Director, Visual Arts at the British Council: “In my first year as Director of Visual Arts at the British Council I am delighted to be working with one of the UK’s most formidable artistic talents. Sarah Lucas’s work is exciting and daring and the Venice Biennale is the best possible platform to showcase this to an international audience. The visual arts are one of the UK’s greatest strengths and it is a great privilege to be Commissioner of the British Pavilion presentation for the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.”
Sarah Lucas is represented by Sadie Coles HQ, London; Gladstone Gallery, New York; Kurimanzutto, Mexico City and CFA, Berlin.
Sarah Lucas biography and selected exhibitions:
Sarah Lucas (b. 1962, London) studied at the Working Men’s College (1982–3), London College of Printing (1983–4), and Goldsmith’s College (1984–7). The seminal group show Freeze (1988) was followed by solo shows Penis Nailed to a Board, City Racing, London, and The Whole Joke, Kingly Street, London (both 1992). In 1993 she collaborated with Tracey Emin on The Shop, Bethnal Green Road.
She has since exhibited internationally – major exhibitions include MoMA New York (1993); Museum Boymans-van Beunigen, Rotterdam (1996); Portikus, Frankfurt (1996); the Freud Museum, London (2000); Tecla Sala, Barcelona (2000); and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (with Angus Fairhurst and Damien Hirst) at Tate Britain (2004). A retrospective took place in 2005 at Kunsthalle Zürich, Kunstverein Hamburg and Tate Liverpool. Recent international residencies and exhibitions include LUCAS BOSCH GELATIN, Kunsthalle Krems, Austria and NUZ: Spirit of Ewe, Two Rooms, Auckland, New Zealand (both 2011); Museo Diego Rivera Anahuacalli, Mexico City (2012; recently chronicled in the encyclopaedic book TITTIPUISSIDAD with photography by Julian Simmons); and Ordinary Things, a major exhibition of her sculpture, at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2012). From 2012-13, SITUATION – a space dedicated to her work at Sadie Coles HQ – hosted eight shows. 2012 saw the publication of After 2005 – Before 2012, a publication on her work covering seven prolific years. The British Council’s commission follows on from her major retrospective, SITUATION Absolute Beach Man Rubble at Whitechapel (2013), and surveys of her work at Secession in Vienna (2013-14) and at Tramway in Glasgow (2014).
Words: Paul Carter Robinson © Artlyst 2014
Sarah Lucas will present a much-anticipated solo exhibition in the British Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice from 9 May to 22 November 2015.