• Sarah Lucas, Romans, 2011

    "In the heart of the country" fot. B. Stawiarski
  • Sarah Lucas, Romans, 2011

    "In the heart of the country" fot. B. Stawiarski

An example of Sarah Lucas’ characteristic warped depiction of femininity and masculinity models is subverting the cliché of girls bathing—an extremely recognisable image—which is interpreted anew in the artist’s multi-element installation Romans. In the foreground, we see two dirty iron baths surrounded by sloppily scattered casts of heavy boots with buckles, reminiscent of ‘caligae’, the footwear of Roman legionaries and centurions, hastily “dumped” before a bath or an orgy.

Standing nearby are two tapering shapes made of stockings stretched over wire, fixed to the floor by concrete high-heeled shoes. The shoes and rounded forms shamelessly bound in stockings emphasise the sexuality and grotesquery of two female silhouettes maintaining a safe distance from the “centurions”. In this unceremonious sex comedy, Lucas leaves the audience space to interpret the scene, giving her work the perversely gender-neutral title Romans, which could refer to Roman men or women equally. The name also suggests Roman baths, a place of nudity and luxury, in ambiguous contrast to the piece’s coarse, brutal, ready-made aesthetics.

Year: 2011
Medium: tights, fluff, wire, wooden coat hanger, concrete boots, concrete blocks, electric tube light, cast iron bathtubs
Format: variable dimensions

Acquisition: purchase
Ownership form: collection
Source: Sadie Coles HQ
Index: MSN:4300-22/2014
Acquisition date:
Financing source: Purchased with the support of Ministry of Culture and National Heritage

See also