As The Guardian’s Adrian Searle put it, when describing Sarah Lucas’ new exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Gallery “Breasts, bums, blokes and their bits – Sarah Lucas’s riotous new show lets it all hang out.” And they couldn’t have summed it up any better than that.
British artist, Sarah Lucas, is perhaps the most perverse survivor of the generation of Young British Artists (or YBAs) who emerged during the 1990s. Much of her works are brilliantly vulgar, often quite racy, employing visual puns and titillating humour, but concurrently displaying wit and a certain well-hidden sophistication. With work titles ranging from Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab, Chicken Knickers, and her iconic self portrait Self-portrait with Fried Eggs in which Lucas herself poses for a self-portrait, un-made up and with two small fried eggs lying on her chest, unintentionally visualising the saying tits like fried eggs, it’s no surprise that Whitechapel deemed the exhibition unsuitable for children.
It is interesting to note that all of Lucas’ representations of the human body are headless, and that the only one face we see is the ubiquitous one of the artist herself, through a sequence of self portraits.
Many of the artist’s iconic works draw on art history, reminiscent of the famous ‘ready-mades’ of Modern Masters Picasso and Duchamp. With materials ranging from clothing, food and furniture used as alternative for the human body, in addition to bikes, toilets, buckets and suggestively stuffed nylon tights, to create erotically charged scenarios, Lucas is acknowledging the genius of past masters, but adding her own commentary on the sexualisation of the body (and not just the female body) in our time.
The exhibition is on until 15 December, 2013. Admission is free.