Situation by Sarah Lucas is the first major solo show in London of the British artist bringing together over two decades of sculpture, installation and photography. The exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery explores Lucas’s remarkable career and assesses the vital role she plays in British art.
Since the late 1980s, Lucas has created sculptures and installations that focus on the body. Drawing upon everyday materials such as cigarettes, tights, furniture and vegetables, Lucas probes representations of gender, sexuality and national identity. Her work alludes to historic movements such as Pop Art and Arte Povera while addressing the universal concerns of nature and mortality. Situation features Lucas’s iconic works which use inanimate objects to take the shape of bodies, including Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab (1992) and Spinster (2000). Also shown are early sculptures such as Still Life (1992), Where does it all end? (1994) and Get Hold of This (1994) aswell as important works from the last decade including Unknown Soldier (2003), The King (2008) and Jubilee (2012).In recent years Lucas’s work combines fragments of the body with forms and materials found in nature. The exhibition includes new works called NUDS (2009-present); stuffed tights moulded into sculptures suggestive of embracing bodies, their intertwined forms offset by plinths of concrete breeze blocks.
Responding to the architecture of the Whitechapel Gallery, Sarah Lucas has created an installation which reconsiders the affinities and dialogues between earlier works and new sculptures. The exhibition explores the range of her work, from sculptures which assemble found objects to recent works in concrete, plaster and bronze, using the techniques of casting and construction. The show expands on Lucas’ year-long project Situation in which she constructed a series of sculptural installations in a space above Sadie Coles HQ in London.