The world’s premier auctions
Be the first to know about
the latest online auctions.
Please enter a valid email address (
Sign Up »
PS: We value your privacy
Thank you!
Want to learn more
about online auctions?
Take a Quick Tour »
is now
To celebrate, we’ve enhanced our site with
larger images and browsing by category to help
you easily find what you’re passionate about.
Remember to update your bookmarks.
Get Started »
Invaluable cannot guarantee the accuracy of translations through Google Translate and disclaims any responsibility for inaccurate translations.
Show translation options

Lot 49: Sarah Lucas (b. 1962)

Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

by Christie's

June 22, 2006

London, United Kingdom

Sarah Lucas (1962) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

Looking for the realized and estimated price?

Description: New Religion
blue neon coffin
15 1/8 x 21 1/4 x 71 1/2 in. (38.4 x 54 x 181.6cm.)
Executed in 1999


Since graduating from Goldsmith's College of Art in 1987, Sarah Lucas has achieved substantial notoriety for her aggressive and sexually charged works of art. Bold, ugly, abrupt, raw, sometimes funny and other times poignant, Lucas' work is concerned with two main themes: eros and thanatos, love and death. More than love though, Lucas is consumed by sex, its place in contemporary life, and even more specifically, the role the woman plays. She does not create pleasing, romanticized images of the human form, but rather she creates objects from simple, everyday materials and found objects which address these themes in a more macabre manner.

While Lucas is clearly not a conceptual artist, her work does appear to be conceptual in some respects. Matthew Collings put it best in his essay for the 2002 Sarah Lucas catalogue published by the Tate: "Sex and the body, Lucas's perpetual themes, might seem opposed to Conceptual art, which is an art of ideas not forms. But what 'Conceptualism' means in art nowadays is not dematerialised form but content apprehended in a rather distanced way. That is, distanced from what the subject initially appears to be. The audience has been taught to understand that a typical work by Lucas will have something standing for something else: objects standing for a body - because nowadays, it is assumed, there's no way to see the body except through the matter of everyday life..." (M. Collings, "Get Hold of This", in Sarah Lucas, London 2002, pp. 53-55).

According to Sigmund Freud, sex is life and death is the opposite. Lucas is intrigued and compelled by this notion and even more so the pull between these two poles. In fact, both sex and death frequently appears in Lucas' work simultaneously, as with the present work, New Religion from 1999. Here we are confronted with a coffin made exclusively from blue neon tubing. The coffin itself is an obvious reference to death, but the glowing neon plays a completely opposite role. Light itself is a symbol of life and neon specifically, with all of the gases flying around inside the tube, lends the element an energetic quality. The neon is concurrently reminiscent of red-light districts around the world and the sexiness of Hollywood, and is therefore used to represent the paradox of sex (life) vs. death.

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
Artist's Resale Right ("droit de Suite"). If the Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer also agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist"s collection agent.

Provenance: Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1999.

Artist or Maker: Sarah Lucas (b. 1962)

Literature: M. Collings, Sarah Lucas, Singapore 2002 (illustrated in colour, p. 77).
Y. Dziewor and B. Ruf (eds.), Sarah Lucas, Exhibitions and Catalogue Raisonné 1989-2005, Ostfildern-Ruit 2005 (illustrated, p. 151).

Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)
Lot title
$0 (starting bid)