Tracey Emin - Selected works

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T r a c e y E m i n<br />

S e l e c t e d W o r k s

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> looks to her life for her primary material. With soul-searching candour, she probes the construct of the self but also the very impulse to create. Unfiltered,<br />

irreverent, raw, she draws on the fundamental themes of love, desire, loss and grief in <strong>works</strong> that are disarmingly and unashamedly emotional. ‘The most beautiful thing is<br />

honesty, even if it’s really painful to look at’, she has remarked.<br />

Self-portraiture and the nude run throughout her practice, which <strong>Emin</strong> has described as being about ‘rites of passage, of time and age, and the simple realisation that we are<br />

always alone’. Her earliest <strong>works</strong> refer to her family, childhood and chaotic teenage years, growing up in the seaside town of Margate and leaving home at the age of fifteen.<br />

What happened next is explored, in a manner that is neither tragic nor sentimental, in drawing, painting, film, photography, sewn appliqué, sculpture, neon and writing, as the<br />

vicissitudes of relationships, pregnancies and abortions intersect with her commitment to the formal disciplines of art. Most recently, the artist has experienced her body as a<br />

battleground, through illness and ageing, on which she reports with characteristic fearlessness.<br />

In 1998, <strong>Emin</strong> created My Bed, an uncensored presentation of her most personal habitat. The double bed has become abstracted from function as it sits on the gallery floor, in<br />

conversation with art history and a stage for life events: birth, sleep, sex, depression, illness, death. The accumulation of real objects (slippers, condoms, cigarettes, empty<br />

bottles, underwear) on and around the unmade bed builds a portrait of the artist with bracing matter-of-factness, defying convention to exhibit what most people would keep<br />

private. The work gained international attention as part of the Turner Prize, entering <strong>Emin</strong> into public consciousness. Another work that became a byword for her art of<br />

disclosure was the sculpture Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963−1995 (1995, destroyed 2004), where the names of all those she had ever shared a bed with – friends,<br />

lovers and family – were sewn on the inside of a tent, a crawl-space that invites the viewer to reflect on their own inventory.<br />

Most recently, <strong>Emin</strong>’s work has been charged by the seriousness of her medical situation, since in 2020 she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Self-portraits taken on her<br />

camera phone in bed find the artist facing her ‘crippling’ insomnia in the small hours, and in recovery from extensive surgery. Her paintings of the nude figure have a<br />

tempestuous energy. <strong>Emin</strong>’s graphic line, by turn delicate or vigorous, imparts a sense of urgency; with each abandoned and assertive gesture, she is flaying herself open.<br />

Drips and obliterations point to the fluidity of the body, as it fluctuates between joy and suffering on its journey between birth and death. Explosions of colour allude to a self<br />

that is overcome by feeling and triumphing in sheer sensuality.<br />

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> was born in 1963 in London. She currently lives and <strong>works</strong> between London, the South of France, and Margate, UK. <strong>Emin</strong> has exhibited extensively including<br />

major exhibitions at Royal Academy of Arts, London (2020); Musée d’Orsay, Paris (2019); Château La Coste, Aix-en-Provence, France (2017); Leopold Museum, Vienna<br />

(2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2013); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2012); Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2012); Hayward<br />

Gallery, London (2011); Kunstmuseum Bern (2009); Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2008); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Malaga, Spain (2008); Art<br />

Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2003); and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002).<br />

In 2007 <strong>Emin</strong> represented Great Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale and her installation My Bed has been included in ‘In Focus’ displays at Tate Britain with Francis Bacon<br />

(2015), Tate Liverpool with William Blake and also at Turner Contemporary, Margate alongside JMW Turner (2017). In 2011, <strong>Emin</strong> was appointed Professor of Drawing at<br />

the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and in 2012 was made Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts.

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> | No Time For Love | 2020<br />

3 Colour lithographic print on Somerset Velvet Warm White 400gsm | Signed edition of 75 | 86 x 69<br />

cm<br />

Under £20,000

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> | Four Thousand Years | 2020<br />

1 colour lithograph on Somerset Velvet Warm White 400gsm | Signed edition of 50 | 56 x 66 cm<br />

Under £10,000

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> | On My Knees | 2021<br />

4 Colour Lithograph on Somerset Velvet Warm White 400gsm | Signed edition of 100 | 76 x 60 cm<br />

Under £15,000

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> | Curled Up | 2022<br />

2 colour lithograph on Somerset Velvet Warm White 400gsm | Signed edition of 100 | 76 x 60 cm<br />

Under £10,000

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> | Crying – Shouting – Screaming – Was Not going to help me Live | 2022<br />

2 colour lithograph on Somerset Velvet Warm White 400gsm | Signed edition of 50 | 74 x 94 cm<br />

Under £18,000

<strong>Tracey</strong> <strong>Emin</strong> with her work<br />

‘My Bed’ (1998)

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