hamburg

Sarah Lucas, Self-Portrait with Fried Eggs, 1996, color inkjet print, 23 5/9 x 18 7/8".

Sarah Lucas

Kunstverein in Hamburg k

Take a table. Fry two eggs and place them side-by-side at one end. At the other, take a kebab and put it in the middle. Seen as a sculpture, these elements pointedly assert their sheer materiality. Even so, to not see them as breasts and a vagina is impossible. Roughly thirty years before Sarah Lucas made Two Fried Eggs and a Kebab, 1992, featured in this British artist’s midcareer retrospective, Robert Morris argued for a “literalist” art—devoid of parts—that would deflect anthropomorphic readings. This idea became a standard for Minimalist sculpture. Even though Morris’s unitary gestalts trace back to a performance featuring a box he made to house his own body, Minimalism ultimately eliminated figuration from its purview, thereby putting literalist readings directly at odds with figurative ones. Lucas exploits this tension and uses vulgarity to underscore it.

As a highly condensed gesture,

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