In 2018, at the time of Sarah Lucas’s major retrospective at the New Museum in New York, her first solo exhibition in China was being planned on the other side of the Pacific. Opening in November 2019, Sarah Lucas’s exhibition at the Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, will be her largest presentation to date in Asia. Curated by Yan Shijie, director of the museum, the exhibition will feature more than 100 works from Lucas’s thirty-year career, bringing together important past works and new pieces created especially for the project to reflect the creative trajectory of this uncompromising British artist to a Chinese audience.
Lucas’s exhibition in Beijing will include several of her seminal early works, including the sculpture Au Naturel (1994) and examples of her celebrated self- portraits of the 1990s, together with highlights from the series that have come to define her career – including the Bunny sculptures in stuffed tights that she began in 1997, the NUDs series of a decade later, and her Penetralia (2008- 11) sculptures in plaster and wood – enigmatic objects that resemble archaeological finds or ancient totems. The display will also feature recent works in bronze, concrete and other materials – some of them monumental in scale – that have evolved out of earlier compositions.
Lucas was a member of the Young British Artists (YBAs). She rose to prominence as one of the generation of artists who emerged from Goldsmiths College, London, in the late 1980s. Her work spans sculpture, photography and installation, and is marked by bold humour and the use of everyday, ‘readymade’ objects including furniture, food, tabloid newspapers, tights, toilets and cigarettes. Over a thirty-year career, she has continued to confront themes such as sex, death and the idea of Englishness – often taking the human body as her main subject. In 2015, Lucas represented Britain at the Venice Biennale.
In her New York Times review of the New Museum show, Roberta Smith highlighted the “unrelentingly challenging attitude” of Lucas’s work and noted that “her blunt yet ambiguous meditation on gender, class and language make her one of the few great artists to emerge from the YBA ranks…”
The Red Brick Art Archive will present about 40 photographs of Sarah Lucas taken by her friend and photographer Johnnie Shand Kydd. In the 1990s, he started photographing artist friends including Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst, thereby becoming the chronicler of the YBA movement. The Archive will also present an extensive collection of catalogs, manuscripts, and ephemera, displayed alongside films of Lucas made by her partner Julian Simmons, giving the audience an intimate portrait of this radical artist.
About the exhibition
Curator: Yan Shijie
Dates: Nov 2, 2019 – Feb 16, 2020
Venue: Red Brick Art Museum
Courtesy of the artist and Red Brick Art Museum, for further information please visit www.redbrickartmuseum.com.