Sarah Lucas to represent UK at 2015 Venice Biennale
Artist Sarah Lucas is to represent the UK at next year's Venice Biennale.
Lucas, who emerged as one of the original Young British Artists in the late 1980s, is known for her suggestive sculptures and photographs.
She will follow artists like Jeremy Deller, Steve McQueen, Tracey Emin, Gilbert & George and Anish Kapoor, who have all filled the British Pavilion at past editions of the prestigious event.
The Biennale is sometimes branded "the Olympics of contemporary art".
The British Council has commissioned leading artists to represent the UK at the Biennale since 1938, with the aim of celebrating the best of British art.
Sarah Lucas makes crude art from crude materials.
Old tables, rusty buckets, fried eggs and raw chickens become visual metaphors of human body parts. It's not subtle. But then, it's not meant to be. Her art is physical, not cerebral.
It's 'in yer face' art - laddish, cocky and confrontational, frank and fearless. It's bawdy and ballsy - quite literally: male reproductive organs feature large in her work.
There is more though, to this onetime rebellious Young British Artist - now a fifty-something establishment favourite - than filthy jokes and dirty mattresses.
Her work is full of ambiguities and contradictions, awkward pairings and headless figures. It's vital and critical. It's about how we see ourselves and let ourselves be seen. It's about life and death, art and illusion.
Sarah Lucas might not be to everyone's taste, but she is a quintessentially British artist.
Lucas has become known for transforming ordinary objects like tights, vegetables, mattresses and fried eggs into evocative sculptures that resemble human body parts.'Formidably inventive'
The British Council's director of visual arts Andrea Rose described the artist as "a formidably inventive sculptor".
"To prick convention could be a term coined for Lucas' work," she said. "It's impolite. Like zest in the artworld mix, her work will bring wit and savour to the Biennale."
Gregor Muir, executive director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, who was on the selection panel, said Lucas had "affirmed her status as a leading international artist" in recent years.
"Having consistently pushed the limits of her practice, there's a sense that Lucas - seemingly more active than ever - is coming into her own.
"Initially entering the fray as a Young British Artist, Lucas continues to make her presence known through a powerful and progressive relationship with her work. Her output remains urgent while being rooted in a rich artistic tradition, to include feminism and surrealism."
Dozens of other countries send representatives to the biannual showcase. The 56th Venice Biennale will run from May to November 2015.