Sarah Lucas studied at the influential art school Goldsmiths College in London (1984-87). Before that she attended the Working Men's College (1982-83) and the London College of Printmaking (1983-84).
In 1988 she participated in the famous "Freeze" exhibition in the London Docklands which brought together a number of artists from Goldsmiths College and was curated by Damien Hirst. Since then this exhibition has been considered the kickoff of the YBA art and the first of a number of significant exhibitions curated by artists.
Lucas had her first solo exhibition, "Penis Nailed to a Board", in the artist run gallery City Racing in 1992.
In 1993 she and Tracey Emin set up the shop-cum-gallery The Shop in Bethnal Green Road in London's East End. The venue was a parody of the commercial galleries of the 1980s, selling t-shirts reading "I'm so fucky" and "Have you wanked over me yet?" as well as Damien Hirst ashtrays, penis sculptures, clothes, etc. Parties were thrown every Saturday but nothing was announced; everything was word of mouth.
Advertising guru and art collector Charles Saatchi acquired a number of her works, ensuring her participation in a few significant exhibitions up through the 1990s, culminating in "Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection" at the Royal Academy of Arts in London in 1997. The exhibition was subsequently mounted in Berlin and New York.
In 1995 Lucas participated in the exhibition "Brilliant! New Art from London" at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Since the mid-1990s she has participated in numerous exhibitions around the world.
Today Lucas ranks as one the YBA generation's principal artists. She exhibited in the fiftieth Venice Biennial in 2003.
Lucas is represented in international museums and collections including Tate Modern in London and Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.