Magazine article Art Monthly

Sarah Lucas: Make Love

Magazine article Art Monthly

Sarah Lucas: Make Love

Article excerpt

Situation London 17 March to December

Several uncertainties tugged at my mind while trudging back up the insalubrious staircase to 'Make Love'--the second incarnation of Sarah Lucas's Situation project, a year-long residency in the yet-to-be-developed rooms above Sadie Coles's gallery on Burlington Place. How could the principle of contingency attributed to site-specific work remain unsullied in the transfer to the central location of commercial galleries and how would the placing of 'sculpture' sit with discussions such as Miwon Kwon's notion of 'the wrong place'--the subject of Claire Doherty's extended research project 'Situations'?

I felt some reassurance on entering the kitchen space of the former office suite when confronted by the work Pussy, 2012, an old wooden ironing board bearing a cartoon-like hissing cat crafted in Lucas's signature kapok-filled tights and whose front end was adorned with breast-shapes weirdly evocative of a ship's figurehead. But rather than its nominal site-specific reference to the domestic, relief may have been due instead to the work replacing the chicken carcass and two fried eggs on a coat hanger, Untitled, 2012. The sweetness of its gamey aroma had permeated the first incarnation of Situation with a sense of unease, causing trepidation about what one might witness. However, this apprehension dissolved like the proverbial knob of butter on toast with the ameliorative effect of further familiarisation with the work's formal qualities.

In an elegant volte-face Lucas takes the concept of the Relational as illustrated by Daniel Buren's seminal work--which effected the transformation from the subjective internal space of the studio in favour of the communal social space--and rereads it in the language of the domestic. She creates an atmosphere of reflective study contiguous with the practice of still-life painting through the refined use of harmonious chromatic relationships that first caught my attention in her deployment of a dusky reddish-pink colour. Part of the concrete floor is a kind of plaster pink, echoed in the patina on the bronze Hard Nud, 2012, which sets the tone for variations of the hue that connect surrounding works. It is evident in the background monochrome of her digital wallpaper piece Get Off Your Horse, 2012, a photo-enlargement of bare legs and bottom cradling an old red-top milk bottle in the groin, like an eye staring out from the redness. …

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