Lucy Skaer

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Lucy Skaer (born 1 January 1975) is a contemporary Scottish artist. Skaer was born in Cambridge and studied at the Glasgow School of Art from 1993 to 1997, graduating with a BA with Honors in Fine Art. She currently lives and works in Glasgow and London.[1] Skaer has exhibited sculptures, films, paintings, and drawings internationally. She is a member of the Henry VIII’s Wives[2] artist collective, and has exhibited a number of works with the group.


Lucy Skaer's works often depicts relationships between abstraction and the direct material nature of objects. Many of her works are replicas of historical objects which are translated and re-contextualized in new mediums.[3] In this vein, Skaer's work has had a particularly strong engagement with images and historical objects depicting the English landscape, British Empire, and Neolithic architecture as her 2008 installation, The Siege.[4]

Much of Skaer's work also consists of objects which interact with and change public spaces. In one piece, she took up a paving stone on Glasgow's Buchanan Street and then had the Earl of Glasgow ceremoniously lay down a replacement, while in an Amsterdam-based piece, she left a diamond and a scorpion side-by-side on a pavement. She has also secretly hidden moth and butterfly pupae in criminal courts in the hope that they will hatch in mid-trial.[citation needed]

Lucy Skaer Sperm whale skull= 'Leviathan Edge' shown at Tate Britain

In 2003, Skaer was shortlisted for the Beck's Futures prize.[5] In 2008, Skaer was the subject of a retrospective of her works since 2001 at the Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland which included newly commissioned work, and a comprehensive monograph book was published to accompany the show.[6] In April 2009, Skaer was shortlisted for the prestigious Turner Prize for the sculptures Black Alphabet, (26 slender sculptures made of coal dust in the shape of Constantin Brâncuși's Bird in Space), and Leviathan Edge, an installation which included the skull of a sperm whale, drawings, and sculptures.[7] (She lost out to Glasgow-based artist Richard Wright).

Skaer has made a number of 16mm films with the British artist Rosalind Nashashibi including Flash in the Metropolitan in 2006, which depicts the artifacts and artworks of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as they appeared in a dimmed light of the museum interrupted by the flashes of a strobe.[8] The two have collaborated on the films Our Magnolia and Pygmalion Event, as well as several others.

Skaer is represented by Murray Guy in New York.



  • Vitamin D: New perspectives in drawing. London: Phaidon. 2005. (pgs on Lucy Skaer)
  • Interview for "Rachael, Peter, Caitlin, John." Location One, NY. 2010. [1]


External links[edit]

  • Saatchi Gallery Additional information on Lucy Skaer including artworks, articles, text panels and full biography
  • Interview with Lucy Skaer from MAP Magazine