You’d be forgiven for feeling a tremor of trepidation at the news that the artist Sarah Lucas has just launched a collection of furniture. After all, the former bad girl of the yBa generation isn’t exactly known for her winsome take on interior design. In her most famous sculptures oily, stained mattresses, knocked-about tables, and ripped sofas are more her thing, representing the bruised and self-abused bodies at the center of less than romantic encounters.
The 14 limited-edition pieces she introduced this week at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile di Milano, however, eschew the bedsit gloom that hangs over those art works, though they don’t exactly spell domestic comfort either. Tables, chairs, a desk, benches and a freestanding wall have been artfully fashioned from modular gray concrete breezeblocks encased in blonde MDF board. But the simple forms, which were produced in collaboration with the London Art Workshop are, as Lucas has herself pointed out, “surprisingly stylish.”
The inspiration comes from Lucas’s recent pieces where concrete breezeblocks and MDF form tough, unaccommodating plinths for squidgy, soft ‘nuds’: her amorphous creations resembling genitalia or innards, made from stuffed nude tights. As furniture, it’s as uncompromisingly minimalist as it gets—the kind of thing that would likely make Carl Andre feel right at home and have the rest of us reaching for a cushion.
This is no truth-to-materials departure, though. If anything Lucas has upped the human factor in her work, replacing the swelling, twisted or dangling nylon that once perched vulnerably on brutal supports, with actual flesh and blood.
Until Saturday, Via San Gregorio 43/ Via Casati 32, 20124 Milano, www.sadiecoles.com.