After two years of work, Sarah Lucas’s major retrospective opens 2 November 2019 – 16 February 2020 at Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, realised in close collaboration between the artist and curator Yan Shije, director of the museum.
The largest institutional presentation of Lucas’s work so far, the exhibition in Beijing will include several of her seminal early works, including the sculpture Au Naturel (1994) and examples of her celebrated self-portraits of the 1990s, together with highlights from the series that have come to define her career – including the Bunny sculptures in stuffed tights that she began in 1997, the NUDs series of a decade later, and her Penetralia (2008-11) sculptures in plaster and wood – enigmatic objects that resemble archaeological finds or ancient totems. The display will also feature recent works in bronze, concrete and other materials – some of them monumental in scale – that have evolved out of earlier compositions.
As part of the project, The Red Brick Art Archive will present photographs of Sarah Lucas taken by her friend and photographer Johnnie Shand Kydd. In the 1990s, Kydd started photographing artist friends including Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst, thereby becoming the chronicler of the Young British Artist movement. The Archive will also present an extensive collection of catalogs, manuscripts, and ephemera, displayed alongside films of Lucas made by her partner Julian Simmons, giving the audience an intimate portrait of this radical artist.
Sarah Lucas said: "I always think making an exhibition is an artwork in itself. Each show is its own thing, never to be repeated the same again. There are some plans in place but a lot of this work, making it sing, will take place during the install. We’ll be scratching our chins and moving things around. This process is often influential on the work that comes later. Something might have its birth in this exhibition that would otherwise have remained unborn. Materials – and their variations in different places – what gets seen and imbibed, conversations that will be had, cultural divergences and similarities, all play their part in what is possible and can be imagined; and what we will get on with in the future."