Sarah Lucas It's Not the End of the World (Remember Me) 2003

  • Not on view

A well–known member of the Young British Artists (YBA) group that emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Lucas develops provocative themes of sexual and social identity in her artwork. In this drawing Lucas takes on death and destruction. She has arranged cigarettes on brown kraft paper to depict a skeleton on horseback carrying a sickle—the emblem of death. Many of her works feature cigarettes; Lucas has commented that for her smoking is a habit that, though self–destructive, affords her space to think: "a way of palpably 'having' time."

In the tradition of Dada, Fluxus, and Nouveaux Réalistes assemblages, Lucas plays with everyday materials to create a dramatic and aesthetic work of technical virtuosity that disconcerts the viewer with its violent medium and subject matter. This drawing is provocative at all levels, including its title. The phrase "It's not the end of the world (remember me)" could be uttered by Death, personified, facing humanity and its conceit, or by Lucas in a desperate affirmation of existence itself.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 165.
Cigarettes and pencil on colored paper
86 3/4 x 110 1/2" (220.3 x 280.7 cm)
The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection Gift
Object number
© 2024 Sarah Lucas
Drawings and Prints

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