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(born 1962, Holloway, London, England) British sculptor, installation artist and photographer. Sarah Lucas studied art at The Working Men's College (1982-3), London College of Printing (1983-4) and graduated from Goldsmith's College in 1987. During the 1990s, Lucas emerged as one of the leading figures of the YBA (Young British Artists), along with contemporaries Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, Angus Fairhurst, and Gary Hume. In her photography, collages, and assemblage of found objects, Lucas incorporates visual puns, sexual innuendos, and references to the human body. Throughout her career, Lucas has confronted the issues of sex, death, and gender with a lurid sensibility and bawdy humor that gives her work much of its critical character. She is known for her androgynous parodies that reflect a realm of masculine low-life culture, especially through the appropriation of tabloid images of women. In the early 1990s she began using furniture to create anthropomorphic sculptures to subvert the sexual stereotypes and gender definitions embedded in society. In works such as Bitch (1995), with table, t-shirt, melons, and vacuum-packed smoked fish, she merges media culture with the economy of everyday objects. Through this assemblage of apparently banal material, she creates unexpected juxtapositions that recall Marcel Duchamp’s readymades. Lucas owes much to previous movements such as Dada, Surrealism, and Situationism, yet her work stands on its own and has been given much critical viability. In 1996 she was the subject of a BBC documentary, Two Melons and a Stinking Fish. Lucas is also known for her confrontational self-portraits, such as Human Toilet Revisited (1998; Tate, London), a color photograph in which she sits on a toilet smoking a cigarette. In her solo exhibition The Fag Show (2000; Sadie Coles, London), she explored her obsession with cigarettes as a material for art, suggesting the connection between smoking and sexually obsessive activity. The morbidity and provocative nature of Lucas’ work has often elicited comparisons with Francis Bacon and Damien Hirst. Her work has been included in major surveys of contemporary British art including Brilliant! - New Art From London (1995; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis), Sensation (1997; Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection at the Royal Academy, London), and Intelligence - New British Art (2000; Tate Britain, London). Lucas also participated in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. Sarah Lucas lives in Suffolk and works in London.
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