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Tracey Emin produces major commission for the new doors of the National Portrait Gallery



Ahead of the National Portrait Gallery’s reopening in June 2023, Tracey Emin’s The Doors (2023) adorns the new entrance on the gallery’s north side. Comprising 45 portraits, the work is said to represent and celebrate ‘every woman’.

Originally painted in acrylic on paper, Emin’s drawings were meticulously transcribed onto each of the bronze panels that cover the surface of the three monumental doors, retaining the traces of the artist’s finger and thumbprints in the metals surface.

Central to the vision of the new gallery, the panels are the artist's response to the historically marginalised role of women in art collections. This installation serves as a counterbalance to the sculpted roundels carved into the National Portrait Gallery’s façade, which depict prominent male figures from history.

Emin stated: ‘Women in history are greatly underrepresented. I didn’t want to depict specific or identifiable figures. I felt like the doors of the National Portrait Gallery should represent every woman, every age and every culture throughout time.’

4 November 2023 - 18 February 2024 | Hanover, Germany

7 November 2023 | The Prince George Ballroom, New York

21 October 2023 - 14 July 2024 | New York

25 March 2023 | TKE Studios, Margate

Oslo, Norway

Posted: 1 February 2023

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