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 aka Gallery Girl is a writer and curator based in London. Her work has been featured in publications including Dazed, Hyperallergic and Vogue Arabia. She was curator of Perpetual Movement during AWAN Festival 2018 and in 2019 had a residency at the Lab at Darat Al Funun in Amman, Jordan. She has also worked with Armenia Art Fair for its inaugural edition and previously worked as an editor at I.B.Tauris Publishers. In 2019 she co-founded Arsheef, Yemen’s first contemporary art gallery. She has given workshops at Manara Culture in Amman, Jordan and Victoria and Albert Museum in London, UK. As of 2020 she is currently in law school, with the ambition of greater understanding the intersection between art and the law.

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