Sarah Lucas debuts furniture line in Milan

Artist says the materials used are "meaningful" and the furniture is "surprisingly stylish"
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Sarah Lucas Furniture (2013)
Sarah Lucas Furniture (2013)

Are you sitting comfortably? Then you probably aren’t testing out Sarah Lucas’s new range of furniture. The 14-piece, limited-edition collection, called Sarah Lucas Furniture, debuted at the Milan Design Fair yesterday, and has been described by the artist as “surprisingly stylish;” comfort, however, seems to be a different matter.

The works have been fashioned from MDF board and breezeblock masonry units - materials Lucas describes as " “meaningful in terms of their uses in the outside world" - were made in collaboration with the art-world carpentry firm, the London Art Workshop, and are on display at Via San Gregorio, 43 / Via Casati, 32 in Milan until Sunday.

 

Sarah Lucas Furniture (2013)
Sarah Lucas Furniture (2013)

While prices are available upon application, these aren’t the sort of pieces likely to appeal to someone shopping for a new sofa and they're not designed to make our overly cossetted lives any more comfortable, and perhaps that’s the point.

Instead, Lucas’s gallery, Sadie Coles HQ, points out that “the objects call to mind the modular compositions of Minimalist artists such as Donald Judd and Carl Andre,” adding that that “certain of the works have been specifically designed by Lucas as gallery furniture – as seats to be placed within a larger exhibition of the artist’s work,” and that the collection, “echoes the artist’s long-term use of furniture as anthropomorphic sculptural apparatus.”

 

Detail from Sarah Lucas Furniture (2013)
Detail from Sarah Lucas Furniture (2013)

This last point is enlightening. Lucas worked with the late Viennese artist Franz West, who himself pioneered a kind of rough, vernacular sculpture, which served as furniture, fine art and sometimes clothing.

For more on Franz West, pick up a copy of our monograph; to understand Carl Andre, consider this thorough and well-illustrated account of the leading Minimalist artist; and for a grounding in the traditions that precede Lucas, take a look at our Minimalism overview; and for more on sculpture today, try Unmonumental.


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