Sarah Lucas @ Whitechapel


Sex has long been a popular subject in art throughout history. From renaissance nudes to Japanese Shunga prints. It should not be something that surprises us. Sarah Lucas is renowned for this type of work, however it comes off crude and seedy.

Many of us may be used to works of art where sex is shown as sacred and beautiful. Nymphs in a forest or Venus on a bed. This retrospective of Lucas’s work however is more like the remnants of a drunken one night stand – best forgotten. The work on display is dirty, cigarette stained and quite frankly unappealing.

The work on display is certainly shocking, even when you know what to expect it seems so much more startling in the flesh. The sex here is not beautiful. There are no idealised bodies and the atmosphere certainly isn’t romantic. I didn’t think I was a prude. But for me at least, it was too much.

Sarah Lucas is on display at Whitechapel Gallery until 15 December

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Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

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