Sarah Lucas has been selected by the British Council to represent Britain at the 56th Venice International Art Biennale. Lucas will present a major solo show in the British Pavilion running from 9 May to 22 November 2015. Sarah Lucas will be following artists such as Jeremy Deller, Steve McQueen, Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George and Anish Kapoor, who have all filled the British Pavilion at the prestigious event.
Sarah Lucas, Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ. Photo: Julian Simmons
Lucas' work has consistently been characterised by its humour and the transformation of every day objects such as, food, tabloid newspapers, furniture, toilets and cigarettes into visual metaphors of human body parts. By turns lewd and lyrical, punning and paradoxical, her art continues to deal with sex, death, abjectness and notion of Englishness. “Humour is about negotiating the contradictions thrown up by convention”, Lucas said. “To a certain extent, humour and seriousness are interchangeable. Otherwise it wouldn't be funny. Or devastating.”
‘Florian’ by Sarah Lucas, Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London 2013
Statistics show that Lucas' work makes impressive returns on investments (herwork is up 187% since 1999). Auctions of her work have great sell-through rates over the last few years, including a rate of 87% in 2013. The same year saw the artist's highest auction record of $470,141 for a single work sold at Christie's London, and Lucas' average sale price reached $61,520. With the forthcoming interest generated by the Venice Biennale (May 9th - November 11th), more growth in the coming years wouldn't be surprising.
Sarah Lucas has collaborated with various artists such as Tracey Emin, William Corwin and Olivier Garbay. Lucas and Garbay created - The Mug, a book that explores both artists working methods. Designed in the style of an alphabetised address book, it catalogues their thoughts and ideas, mixing free-form Anglo-Gallic poetry with various artistic experiments, dabbling in dirt, dominoes, and drinking.
In addition to The Mug, Sarah Lucas have collaborated to create a freestanding resin sculpture moulded from the plaster cast of their entwined hands and forearms: LOVE IS A BIRD LOVE IS A BUREN. Whether battling or embracing, their arms are a metaphor for the unification and struggle often experienced in love, and physically manifest some of the ideas recorded in their book.
A cool and elegant work, the resin sculpture stands upright on its elbows, but can be turned to sit on alternative edges. Its surface has a slightly grainy texture, true to the suggestion of human skin and wrinkles. The resin is tinted evenly with Pantone-matched colour, but where the thickness of the sculpture varies, so too does the light passing through it, giving the colours a variation in intensity. The broader forearms carry a denser colour than the fingertips, which have a delicate luminosity.
Sarah Lucas and Olivier Garbay at The Mug launch, Other Criteria London, February 2009