Sarah Lucas

b.1962

NUD CYCLADIC 1

  • Purchase enabled by a gift from Andrew and Jenny Smith, made in response to the generosity of Sarah Lucas, Sadie Coles, London and Two Rooms, Auckland to the people of Christchurch on the occasion of the Canterbury Earthquake, February 2011
  • Tights, fluff, wire, concrete blocks, MDF
  • 1600 x 440 x 440mm
  • 2011/227:a-f
  • 2009

Classical sensuality or in-your-face eroticism? As with many works by renowned British artist Sarah Lucas, NUD CYCLADIC 1 has it both ways. Combining humour and provocative imagery to challenge expectations about gender and sexuality, Lucas also references the stylised and strangely modern female figurines of Cycladic culture, which flourished during the Early Bronze Age on the islands of the central Aegean.

NUD CYCLADIC 1 entered the collection via multiple, compounded acts of generosity. On 22 February 2011, Lucas was in Auckland, installing an end-of-residency exhibition. On hearing of the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, she insisted that her share of the proceeds from exhibition sales go towards supporting the recovery of the arts in the city. Her Auckland and London gallerists agreed to donate their commissions to the same cause. Soon afterwards, in a third gesture of solidarity, Auckland collectors Andrew and Jenny Smith offered to purchase one of Lucas’s works for Christchurch Art Gallery – and we couldn't go past this one, with its cheeky nod to the sinuous sculptures of Auguste Rodin (1840–1917).

(Unseen: The Changing Collection, 18 December 2015 – 19 June 2016)