British artist Sarah Lucas is perhaps not the first name you’d think of when commissioning someone to design a new furniture collection. Known for her cheeky sense of humour, visual puns and fondness for orifices (see 1997’s Chicken Knickers), the YBA member has often incorporated furniture into her pieces but not in a way that would invite you to sit. Indeed if you tried to use much of her previous work, you’d soon come a cropper on many a strategically placed item – a cucumber if reclining on Au Naturale’s mattress or a meat member when pulling up the chair in Tongue and Groove, Always Goes Down Well.
But last week’s Salone del Mobile in Milan saw Lucas launch her debut furniture collection, as part of an exhibition organised by the Sadie Coles gallery. Comprising of 14 limited edition pieces, the collection – bluntly-titled Furniture – has been made from breeze blocks and MDF, echoing the use of found materials seen in Lucas’ previous work, and creating a brutalist version of intarsia – the technique of inlaying stone or wood into another surface. More sculptural pieces than your lounge armchair, these utilitarian monoliths are far from comfortable, but at least they’re not going to do you a mischief.