Sarah Lucas, Eating a Banana, 1990, b and w photograph, 74.9 x 81

Sarah Lucas, Eating a Banana, 1990, b and w photograph, 74.9 x 81 cm,copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ London

The British Council has commissioned artists to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale since 1938 and in 2015 Sarah Lucas will present a much-anticipated solo exhibition in the British Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition in Venice from 9 May to 22 November 2015.

Sarah Lucas, Florian, 2013, bronze, 135 x 495 x 250cm, edition of 3 + 1AP, Installation view, NOB + Gelatin, Secession, Vienna, 23 November 2013 - January 19, 2014, Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, Londo

Sarah Lucas, Florian, 2013, bronze, 135 x 495 x 250cm, edition of 3 + 1AP, Installation view, NOB + Gelatin, Secession, Vienna, 23 November 2013 – January 19, 2014, Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

It seems incredible to think that Lucas is now one of the grande dames of Britain’s contemporary artists. This erstwhile enfant terrible and original geezer bird delights in presenting guaranteed ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ crowd shockers, pieces such as her works made from the most basic everyday ‘readymade’ objects – kebabs, fried eggs, cigarettes, old tights, tabloid newspapers, toilets – you name it, Lucas will have made a sculpture from it.

Installation View, Sarah Lucas, SITUATION, Absolute Beach Man Rubble, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2 October - 15 December 2013, copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Installation View, Sarah Lucas, SITUATION, Absolute Beach Man Rubble, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2 October – 15 December 2013, copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

She constantly manages to be daring, funny, occasionally gross but also profound. Lucas may be lewd but it is always done with humour and humanity. Her art continues to confront big themes such as (of course) sex, death and general bleakness.

Sarah Lucas, Life's a Drag (Organs), 1998, two cars, cigarettes, each car 146 x 460 x 180 cm, Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Sarah Lucas, Life’s a Drag (Organs), 1998, two cars, cigarettes, each car 146 x 460 x 180 cm, Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Lucas is no stranger to exhibitions, there have been many since that seminal Goldsmith’s group show, Freeze, in ’88. The British Council’s commission follows on from her major retrospective, SITUATION Absolute Beach Man Rubble at Whitechapel last year, and surveys of her work at Secession in Vienna (2013-14) and at Tramway in Glasgow (2014). The Venice Biennale is one more exciting platform to showcase her work to an international audience.

Installation View, Sarah Lucas, Bunny Gets Snookered, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 12 May - 20 June 1997, Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Installation View, Sarah Lucas, Bunny Gets Snookered, Sadie Coles HQ, London, 12 May – 20 June 1997, Copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Sarah Lucas’ British Council commission is at la Biennale di Venezia from 9 May until 22 November 2015.

SARAH LUCAS
British Pavilion, Giardini di Castello 30122
9 May to 22 November 2015
Vaporetto | Giardini
A catalogue will accompany the exhibition

Words by Anna Bang

Sarah Lucas, Nice Tits, 2011, concrete, wire mesh, tights, fluff, 208 x 160 x 60cm, copyright the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London

Sarah Lucas, Nice Tits, 2011, concrete, wire mesh, tights, fluff, 208 x 160 x 60cm, copyright the artist, courtesy  Sadie Coles HQ, London

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anna bang, Freeze, Sarah Lucas, The British Council,