Lot 57
  • 57

Sarah Lucas

120,000 - 180,000 GBP
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  • Sarah Lucas
  • Nude #1
  • table, clothing, coconuts and brush
  • 60 by 120 by 60cm.; 23 5/8 by 47 1/4 by 23 5/8 in.
  • Executed in 1999.


Sadie Coles HQ, London

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2001


Exh. Cat., Zurich, Kunsthalle Zürich, (and travelling), Sarah Lucas (Exhibitions and Catalogue Raisonné 1989-2005), 2005, p. 155, illustrated


Colour: The colour in the catalogue illustration is fairly accurate, although the table top is warmer in the original. Condition: This work is in very good and original condition. There are various surface irregularities, accretions, scratches and scuffs to the table top and legs, which are in keeping with the artist's choice to use found materials.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

“I see [my art] like furnishing a house over a long period, and from time to time rearranging the furniture. Making art emphasises the relationship one has to objects in the world. Always noticing this or that quality. In a way being kept company by inanimate things.”

Sarah Lucas in conversation with Beatrix Ruff in: Exh. Cat., Zurich, Kunsthalle Zürich, (and travelling), Sarah Lucas (Exhibitions and Catalogue Raisonné 1989-2005), 2005, p. 30.

Iconic and instantly recognisable, Sarah Lucas’ Nude #1 is a superlative example of the artist’s beguiling anthropomorphic sculptures. Executed in 1999, just two years after Lucas participated in the epoch-defining exhibition Sensation at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, alongside fellow yBa luminaries such as Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Chris Ofili, Nude #1 resonates with the confidence of an artist at the height of her creative powers. In the present work a schematic headless female figure is constructed from quotidian objects; a rectangular wooden table comprises the torso, two large breasts made from coconuts jut through neatly cut holes in a vest draped over the end of the grey table top, whilst the brush ends of two old fashioned bottle cleaners perversely lie over the crotch of the figure’s white pants. The careful arrangement of objects on a table is certainly a nod to the art historical trope of the still life, whilst the title Nude #1 situates this extraordinary piece at the apex of a long and illustrious history of female nudes in art history that spans from Renaissance masters such as Raphael and Titian through to such modern painters as Manet and more recently John Currin. The motif of the table proliferates throughout the artist’s oeuvre and punctuates some of her most important pieces; one of Lucas’s most famous breakthrough works, Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab, 1992, involves two freshly fried eggs in lieu of breasts placed atop a wooden table; whilst the sister sculpture to the present work, Nude #2 is held in the Tate Collection, London. Witty and subversive Nude #1 is undoubtedly Lucas at her finest.

Soaring to prominence in the early 1990s as a founding member of the yBas (young British artists), Lucas’ work has commanded critical and commercial attention since her electrifying debut 25 years ago. Indeed, the past few years have proven to be a milestone moment in the artist’s career as global interest in her work has soared. In 2013 Lucas was the subject of a major retrospective at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, while 2015 saw Lucas accorded the prestigious accolade of representing the United Kingdom at the Venice Biennale with a solo outing in the halls of the Giardini’s historic British pavilion; an event that was met with universal acclaim.