If there's any further proof that the spirit of the 1990s is back it can be seen in the art world, and the retrospective celebration of the Young British Artists. The biggest names, Tracey Emin and Damien Hirst, are living off the PR from large-scale shows (Emin last Summer at Hayward Gallery and Hirst currently at Tate Modern, fresh from the eleven city world tour of the Gagosian galleries). Because have recently featured a show of new work by Gavin Turk, and today we have Make Love, at Situation, the first show in five solo exhibitions this year by Sarah Lucas.
Emin and Hirst can keep the museum retrospectives; Lucas's gallerist Sadie Coles has hired an entire gallery for the artist to display these quintet of exhibitions. Located just by the Royal Academy (where, incidentally, Emin has recently been appointed Professor of Drawing - they're a busy bunch, these yBas), and named Situation, Lucas's premier show in this great hallowed corridor of tradition in art is Make Love.
Lucas's ribald eroticism may be too much for the wider general public that Emin and Hirst enjoy playing to, but this Viz-style humour is just as interesting as it was fifteen years ago. Her work goes much further than that though. There are the fabricated layers that explore the body, particularly the female form, skewed and inverted, but that the draw reference, from the semi-nude in traditional fine art practice. It is a very contemporary look at what fine art can be in today's world, once it has been through the wringer of feminism and post-modernism. Lucas, an advocate of the self-portrait, presents works that confront the viewer. They are only uneasy if that viewer refuses to shed their inhibitions. It's a form of installation, sculpture and photography that is reminiscent of the intense and raw paintings by Lucien Freud and Jenny Saville. It might just be the most interesting new space to open in London for years.
Sarah Lucas is at Situation until December.