Sarah Lucas Wins New Museum’s $400,000 Sculpture Prize

Ahead of a survey set to open at London’s Tate Britain in the fall, Sarah Lucas has been named the first winner of the New Museum’s $400,000 sculpture prize, which is intended to support a new commission for the New York museum.

The award, officially titled the Hostetler/Wrigley Sculpture Award after New Museum trustee Sue Hostetler Wrigley, will be given to five women artists over the next decade. The prize’s purse includes an honorarium for the winner, as well as production, installation, and exhibition fees associated with the sculptures commissioned through it.

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Lucas, who in 2018 was herself the subject of a vast New Museum survey, is known for feminist art that questions sexual norms and subverts patriarchal structures. Part of a generation known as the Young British Artists that emerged during the ’90s, Lucas often intends to shock with her sculptures, producing objects that appear like body parts or genitalia.

The New Museum has revealed little about the artwork that Lucas will produce, other than that it will be titled Venus Victoria.

The work will go on view in the museum’s plaza on the Bowery when an expansion opens; an inauguration date for the institution’s addition was not announced. Previously, the expansion, designed by OMA / Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas, was expected to begin welcoming visitors in 2022, but that date has since been pushed.

Artists Teresita Fernández, Joan Jonas, Julie Mehretu, Cindy Sherman, and Kiki Smith were on the jury that chose Lucas as the winner.

In a statement, the jury said, “We selected Sarah Lucas’s proposal for its exuberance, vitality, and irreverence. Colorful, humorous, and radically joyful, Lucas’s proposal imagines an unconventional monument—an ‘unmonumental’ monument—celebrating women claiming space in public life. The title Venus Victoria is just a perfect omen.”

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