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 with a special interest in contemporary Middle Eastern Art. She has a BA in Art History and an MA in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa from the School of Oriental and African Studies. She runs the Gallery Girl blog and also writes for After Nyne, Ibraaz and Reorient.

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