Ed. 2 / Lucy Skaer

The Practice

Lucy Skaer's broad practice explores the relationships between image and object, between first hand and mediated experience.  Working in large-scale drawing, installation, sculpture and film, the artist often creates a logic that is then purposely overburdened or challenged in order to bring about a crisis in the reading of an image.  Some work operates on a visceral level, with jarring optical effects such as light flashes or a multitude of small spirals putting the experience of the eye in conflict with that of the brain.  In a series of sculptural works Skaer extrudes a flat image to take on a new unexpected 3rd dimension.  In these works, Skaer articulates conceptual concerns through the material qualities of her work.  Skaer is involved in two long-term collaborations with the group 'Henry V'iii's Wives' and with artist Rosalind Nashashibi as Nashashibi / Skaer.


Lucy Skaer [born 1975, Cambridge, UK] lives and works in London and New York City. Her recent solo exhibitions include Location One; NYC, 2010; A Boat Used as a Vessel, Kunsthalle Basel, 2009; Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh; and The Seige, Chisenhale Gallery, London, 2008.  Recent group exhibitions in 2010 include Elle, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Intensif-Station, K21, Dusseldorf.
Forthcoming projects/exhibitions in 2011/2012 include Pavillion, Leeds, UK; a collaboration with Siobhan Davies Dance Company, UK. In addition, the artist will be participating in a two-person show at the Sculpture Center in Long Island City. Skaer was nominated for Tate’s Turner Prize in 2009.

THE T-SHIRT / ‘The Fool’s Shirt’

The T-shirt is based on two wood cut prints, one taken from a 15th C illustration from Sebastian Brant’s ‘Narrenschiff’ (ship of fools) and the other from an antique chair.  Brant’s book is a story of a society of fools sailing toward ‘Narragonia’, a fools paradise or non-place (utopia), and contains the first written reference to the discovery of the new world. 

The chair has been used to print a kind of fool’s utterance: each surface of the chair was covered with ink, printed and arranged as if to be characters in an unknown or nonsense alphabet. The Fool or Jester has traditionally been a liminal figure, a go-between or utopian dreamer.  The T-shirt is a reflection of my sympathy with this figure and a playful desire to create a new costume for such a person