sex, sculpture and satire from sarah lucas at the venice art biennale
 
sex, sculpture and satire from sarah lucas at the venice art biennale
may 06, 2015

sex, sculpture and satire from sarah lucas at the venice art biennale

sex, sculpture and satire from sarah lucas at the venice art biennale
all photos by cristiano corte © british council

 

 

 

gender, death, sexuality — these themes have defined british artist sarah lucas’ work for decades. within the british pavilion at the venice art biennale 2015, the exhibition ‘I scream daddio’ curated by richard riley maintains an emphasis on these motifs, while marking a new stage in lucas’ evolving artistic language.

 

this latest group of works presented by the british council commission — which range in scale from monumental to life-sized — add a sense of sharp humor, distinctive wit and bawdy innuendos to the topics of sex and the human body. ‘humor is about negotiating the contradictions thrown up by convention’, lucas says. ‘to a certain extent humour and seriousness are interchangeable. otherwise it wouldn’t be funny. or devastating.’

sarah lucas british pavilion at the venice art biennale
sarah lucas’ ‘maradona’ at the british pavilion

 

 

 

at the center of the exhibition is ‘maradona’, a larger-than-life, yellow figure whose enormous arched torso and phallic posture is sculpted from a bulbous texture of stuffed nylon prototype. the work is named after the iconic argentine football player whose soaring ‘hand of god’ moment brought him international fame. here, ‘maradona’ bears a seemingly gravity-defying erection that treads a delicate line between beauty and buffoonery.

 

female figures feature more literally — a series of plaster sculptures characterized by fragmentary pairs of legs are animated through their interplay with domestic furniture like desks and chairs. these incomplete bodily casts interact throughout the space, squatting over toilet seats, bending over tables and promiscuously sitting on lounge chairs.

sarah lucas venice art biennale british pavilion
‘I SCREAM DADDIO’, installation view

sarah lucas venice art biennale british pavilion
a female figure squats on the side of a toilet seat

sarah lucas venice art biennale british pavilion
half nude figures interact with domestic furniture items

sarah lucas venice art biennale british pavilion

sarah lucas venice art biennale british pavilion

sarah lucas venice art biennale british pavilion
fragmentary pairs of legs are animated throughout the yellow gallery space

sarah lucas venice art biennale british pavilion
the sculptures are seen squatting over toilet seats, bending over tables and promiscuously sitting on lounge chairs

 

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