Installation view of “Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel,” 2018. New Museum, New York. Photo: Maris Hutchinson/EPW Studio, © Sarah Lucas, Courtesy Sadie Coles HQ London and New Museum New York

Sarah Lucas: Naked Honesty

Sarah Lucas has a feeling for materials that quite simply takes your breath away, a formidable command over sculptural form, a knack for striking compositions and juxtapositions, an abiding interest in charged and often politically incorrect content, and a deliciously wicked sense of humor. One might ask, “What is there not to like?” But Lucas has her detractors, who insist that she has not done one original thing over the course of her 30-year career.

Anyone with a modicum of grounding in Modernist and avant-garde practice can find sources or parallels for Lucas’s interventions. She has looked around—what ambitious artist has not?—and borrows or takes what she can use. What is important is what she does with her sources, and why she does it. Lucas has built a coherent and highly idiosyncratic body of work with a specific look, tone, feel, and content, despite the range within her oeuvre. The contemporary art scene would be a much poorer place without her input . . .

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