Tate Liverpool presents the first survey exhibition of the artist Sarah Lucas. One of the leading figures in an outstanding generation of young British artists who emerged during the 1990s, Sarah Lucas has gained an international reputation for provocative works that frequently employ coarse visual puns and a defiant, bawdy humour.
The exhibition presents art in a range of media – photography, sculpture, collages, installations and drawings – and includes key works from her career and a new work made for the exhibition, Year of the Rooster 2005.
Lucas makes sculptures from a heterogeneous and unexpected range of everyday materials, such as worn furniture, clothing, fruit, vegetables, newspapers, cigarettes, cars, resin, plaster, neon lamps and light fittings. The grungy, abject appearance of many of her works belies the serious and complex subject matter they address. She makes constant reference to the human body, questioning gender definitions and challenging macho culture. This approach is encapsulated in the classic Two Fried Eggs and Kebab 1992, in which a reclining naked female body is constructed from a table with two eggs and a kebab, and Au Naturel 1994, consisting of a mattress on which an empty bucket and a couple of melons represent female genitalia while the male is represented by a cucumber and a pair of oranges. Similarly, Lucas makes provocative self-portraits that question traditional depictions of women and challenge the clichéd image of the modern artist in work such as Eating a Banana 1990.
Sarah Lucas attended Goldsmiths College from 1984–7 and showed her work in Freeze, the legendary exhibition curated by Damien Hirst in 1988. Lucas's first solo exhibition was at City Racing in 1992 and in 1993 she set up The Shop with Tracey Emin, a temporary retail outlet selling art multiples. In 1997 she was included in the exhibition Sensation and she has exhibited extensively both in the UK and internationally.