Sarah Lucas - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Thursday, October 5, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Barbara Gladstone Gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Barbara Gladstone Gallery, Supersensible, 1995
    Museum Boymans-van Beuninger Rotterdam, Sarah Lucas, 4 February - 31 March 1996, p. 59 (illustrated)
    Kunsthalle Zürich; Hamburg, Kunstverein; Tate Liverpool, Sarah Lucas, 2 April 2005 - 15 January 2006, p. 96 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    In Supersensible, Sarah Lucas employs a characteristically playful vernacular by confusing the pictorial space, utilising the artistic medium of collage. Loaded with sexuality, politics, death and humour, Lucas’ brazen compositions and sculptures simultaneously challenge and charm the viewer. Executed in 1994, amidst Lucas’ rise to prominence as a provocative and pivotal member of the Young British Artist (YBA) generation, Supersensible is an early synthesis of her cunning exploration of medium, gendered subject matter and honesty.

    Layering carefully chosen newspaper excerpts upon cardboard the viewer is deceptively drawn into an initial image of an enthroned Lucas sitting upon an expanse of receding tiles. The tiled arrangement draws the viewer’s eye toward the confrontational self-portrait, a stunning presentation of the artist challenging stereotypical depictions of gender and sexuality. This bold pose was claimed by Lucas and repeated across many mediums throughout her oeuvre. With her figure dressed in denim with heavy boots afoot her splayed legs, the artist stays planted in her trade mark pose. Lucas’ presence is paradoxical, tough and gloomy, yet both feminine and masculine. The viewer is presented with a portrait of rebellious femininity.

    At the forefront of Supersensible, a geometric configuration, reminiscent of a chessboard, leads toward a vanishing point. In this pictorial arrangement, Lucas challenges the viewer to a visual game in which the spectator is a pawn whose gaze is manipulated by the divine hand of the artist. Here, the gendered space recalls other provocative aesthetics and playful installations by the artist. From a felt card table in Ace in the Hole, 1998, the incorporation of a snooker table in Bunny Gets Snookered, 1997 (Tate Gallery, London) to the chessboard-like grid of Supersensible, Lucas’ invasion of the art historically male dominated sphere of the games room plays with and, once again, subverts notions of gender and the male gaze.

    Pivotal to the rise of the YBA movement, Lucas’ explosive and confrontational aesthetic places her at the forefront of contemporary artistic discourse on gender tropes. Unwaveringly relevant, Lucas who has twice turned down a Turner Prize nomination recently represented Great Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2015. An early and enduring example of Lucas’ lasting and provocative creative output, Supersensible, was included in her first major survey at the Tate Liverpool, traveling to the Kunsthalle Zürich in 2005 - 2006. Spirited, powerful and exceedingly tactile, the present work provides the viewer with a psychological, social and political commentary that resounds throughout Lucas’ oeuvre.



signed, titled and dated 'SARAH LUCAS "SUPERSENSIBLE" 1994/95' on the reverse; further signed 'LUCAS' on the stretcher
acrylic and newspaper collage on cardboard
162.6 x 223.5 cm (64 x 87 7/8 in.)
Executed in 1994 - 1995.

£100,000 - 150,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £237,000

Contact Specialist
Henry Highley
Specialist, Head of Evening Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4061 [email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 6 October 2017