Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel


The New Museum will present the first American survey of the work of British artist Sarah Lucas (b. 1962, London, UK).

Cover Image:

Sarah Lucas, Self-portrait with Fried Eggs, 1996. C-print, 60 × 48 in (152.4 × 121.9 cm). Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London; and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels

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Over the past thirty years, Lucas has become one of Britain’s most influential artists, creating a distinctive and provocative body of work that subverts traditional notions of gender, sexuality, and identity. Since the late 1980s, Lucas has transformed found objects and everyday materials such as cigarettes, vegetables, and stockings into absurd and confrontational tableaux that boldly challenge socially constructed norms. This presentation, which will encompass the three main galleries of the New Museum, will include a comprehensive selection of her sculptures, photographs, and installations, revealing the breadth and ingenuity of her art. The exhibition will particularly address the ways in which Lucas engages with the legacy of surrealism—from her clever transformations of everyday objects to her exploration of sexual ambiguity and the tension between the familiar and the disorienting or absurd. Drawing on art historical references, cultural stereotypes, and tabloid culture, Lucas’s works embrace ambiguity and paradox and take a demonstrative stance against puritanism, conformism, and misogyny with distinct irreverence and wit. The combination of these strategies results in a powerful evocation of the themes of death, sex, gender, and religion, as they continue to influence contemporary life.

The exhibition is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, and Margot Norton, Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue copublished by the New Museum and Phaidon Press Limited. The catalogue includes an interview with Sarah Lucas conducted by Massimiliano Gioni, as well as contributions by Whitney Chadwick, Angus Fairhurst, Quinn Latimer, Maggie Nelson, Linda Nochlin, Margot Norton, and Anne Wagner.

Sarah Lucas (b. 1962, London, UK) lives and works in Suffolk, UK. She was included in the now-legendary group exhibition “Freeze” (1988), organized by Damien Hirst at the Surrey Docks in London Docklands. For six months in 1993, she collaborated with fellow artist Tracey Emin on The Shop, for which the duo occupied a London storefront and made and sold objects ranging from T-shirts to paper badges and printed mugs. Lucas has since exhibited internationally, at institutions such as Tate Britain (2004); Tecla Sala, Barcelona (2000); the Freud Museum, London (2000); Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam (1996); Portikus, Frankfurt (1996); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (1993). In 2005, a traveling retrospective of her work was shown at Kunsthalle Zürich, Kunstverein Hamburg, and Tate Liverpool. Recent solo exhibition include “Good Muse,” Legion of Honor, San Francisco (2017); “INNAMEMORABILIAMUMBUM,” Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milan (2016); “POWER IN WOMAN,” Sir John Soane’s Museum, London (2016); “Sarah Lucas,” Tramway, Glasgow (2014); “NOB + Gelatin,” Secession, Vienna (2013); and the retrospective “SITUATION Absolute Beach Man Rubble” at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013). Lucas represented Britain at the 2015 Venice Biennale with her exhibition “I SCREAM DADDIO.”

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Lead support for this exhibition is provided by the Artemis Council of the New Museum.
Maria Baibakova, Chair
Dr. Shelley Fox Aarons, Valerie Biberaj, Sarah Rose Calodney, Radhika Chanana and Amira Chanana, Robin Cofer-D’Alleva, Frederica Fanari, Stacey Goergen, Agnes Gund, Nasiba Hartland-Mackie, Sara Kay, Shanyan Koder, Laura Lehmann, Randi Charno Levine, Margaret Munzer Loeb, Toby Milstein, Nazy Nazhand, Nicole Nunag, Claire D. Olshan, Bettina Prentice, Debbie Rechler, Nancy Rogers, Barrie Roman, Lisa Schiff, Jennifer Soros, Sara Story, Pam Wasserstein, Madeline Weinrib, Arden Wohl, Tiffany Zabludowicz, and H.R.H. Princess Eugenie of York, Ambassador.

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by:
Shane Akeroyd
Ellen and Michael Ringier
Caisa and Åke Skeppner
Elham and Tony Salamé

Additional support is provided by D.Daskalopoulos Collection and Carol and Arthur A. Goldberg.

Education and community programs are supported, in part, by the American Chai Trust.

Special thanks to Sadie Coles HQ, London, and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels.

The accompanying publication was made possible, in part, by the J. McSweeney and G. Mills Publications Fund at the New Museum.

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