Published on November 19, 2013 | by Katherine Jackson

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Penis galore

Nice Tits by Sarah Lucas [Sarah Lucas]

★★★★

Part of the Young British Artists generation and a graduate of UAL, Sarah Lucas is one of the stars of 1990s art, starting her career alongside Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst.

The work she produces is that of a forthright and bawdy feminist, and features everything from mundane materials slapped with fried egg and bacon, to overly large photographic self -portraits and sculptures of stuffed nude tights.

This month, the Whitechapel Gallery plays host to some of Lucas’s most provocative and renowned pieces, mostly taken from her vast body of work produced in the 1990s, at a time when her phallic symbol sculptures and racy euphemisms were controversial and trend-setting – her infamous piece Penis Nailed to a Board won her wide acclaim and established her status as an artist.

Her new exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery is set out over three domestic-style spaces.

The first room consists of mattresses on the floor, mysteriously stained and donning various food materials: a large leg of ham, fried egg, a doner kebab and bacon.

Lucas employs food objects in her work to act as replacements or substitutes for female human body parts; for example, the fried eggs represent the breasts.

The second room features Lucas’s large phallic sculptures, which are staggeringly large and intimidating to stand next to.

One of the most interesting works was the satirical piece about exaggerated tabloid journalism, with a large page of a newspaper featuring a story about a sex symbol dwarf, poking fun at the ridiculousness of tabloid culture.

It is interesting to make a comparison between her work and today’s modern-day feminists and how times have changed in regard to the tabloids’ treatment of women.

Lucas’s work is a captivating insight into the world of feminism and female sexual empowerment and is well worth a visit.

‘Situation Absolute Beach Man Rubble’ runs at the Whitechapel Gallery until December 15 and admission is free.

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