Tracey Emin’s art is one of disclosure, using her life events as inspiration for works ranging from painting, drawing, video and installation, to photography, needlework and sculpture. Emin reveals her hopes, humiliations, failures and successes in candid and, at times, excoriating work that is frequently both tragic and humorous.
Emin’s work has an immediacy and often sexually provocative attitude that firmly locates her oeuvre within the tradition of feminist discourse. By re-appropriating conventional handicraft techniques – or ‘women’s work’ – for radical intentions, Emin’s work resonates with the feminist tenets of the ‘personal as political’. In Everyone I’ve Ever Slept With, Emin used the process of appliqué to inscribe the names of lovers, friends and family within a small tent, into which the viewer had to crawl inside, becoming both voyeur and confidante. Her interest in the work of Edvard Munch and Egon Schiele particularly inform Emin’s paintings, monoprints and drawings, which explore complex personal states and ideas of self-representation through manifestly expressionist styles and themes.
Tracey Emin was born in 1963 in London. She shares her time between the South of France and London.
Emin has exhibited extensively including solo exhibitions at Musée d’Orsay, Paris (2019); Château La Coste, Aix-en-Provence, France (2017); Leopold Museum, Vienna (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2013); Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2012); Turner Contemporary, Margate, UK (2012); Hayward Gallery, London (2011); Kunstmuseum Bern (2009); Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2008); Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Malaga, Spain (2008); Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2003); and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2002). In 2007 Emin 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 (2015), Tate Liverpool with William Blake and also at Turner Contemporary, Margate alongside JMW Turner (2017). In 2011, Emin was appointed Professor of Drawing at 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.
In December 2020, she will open a major solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The exhibition, entitled The Loneliness of the Soul, will tour to the new Munch Museum, Oslo in spring 2021, followed by the unveiling of her permanent public commission The Mother for Oslo’s Museum Island.
25 November 2020 – 30 January 2021
White Cube Mason's Yard
The public opening date of this exhibition has been postponed to Wednesday 2 December in accordance with new guidance from the UK government.
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The paintings, neon, sculpture and film in this exhibition take their cue from the elemental, sometimes primal, artistic expression that defines the art of Tracey Emin. Timed to coincide with the major exhibition ‘Tracey Emin / Edvard Munch: The Loneliness of the Soul’ at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the presentation culminates with a screening of her 1998 film Homage to Edvard Munch and all My Dead Children.
The title of the exhibition is drawn from a painting that references the ‘Hunter’s Moon’, a variation of a full moon that appears in October or November in the northern hemisphere. Also called a ‘Blood Moon’, this lunar event became known within traditional folklore as the best time for nocturnal stalkers to track and catch their prey. For Emin, who often paints throughout the night, a different kind of quarry is captured in her painting, which shows a couple locked in a carnal embrace atop a blood red mound of gestural marks. In another work, This Was The Beginning (2020), the figure is the conduit for expressions of turmoil and passion, and ultimately, salvation. The treatment of the motifs in the work convey the physicality and expressionism that is so familiar in Emin’s paintings. A reclining body is seen both emerging and collapsing in a tumult of vigorous brushwork and pentimenti strokes; the life force that is the figure, with its crimson contours, bursting out from a background of ghostly, whitewashed passages.MORE DETAILS