b.1963, London, England
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 London in 1963, and studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively internationally including solo and group exhibitions in Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia and America. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, becoming the second female artist to ever do so. That same year, Emin was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and a Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. In 2011 she became the Royal Academy’s Professor of Drawing and in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts.
In 2008 Emin had her first major retrospective 20 Years at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, which toured to CAC, Malaga (2008) and Kunstmuseum Bern (2009). Her extensive exhibition history includes solo and group exhibitions at Blumenbar Verlag, Berlin (2008); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2010); Blanton Museum of Art, Austin (2010); a major survey exhibition Love Is What You Want at the Hayward Gallery, London (2011); Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012); Malba – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012), a two gallery solo show at Lehmann Maupin, New York (2013); a solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami (2013); a solo show at White Cube, Bermondsey (2014), a two-person show with Egon Schiele at The Leopold Museum, Vienna (2015) and a room at Tate Britain featuring ‘My Bed’ and works by Francis Bacon (2015).
Emin’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections around the world, including the Albright Knox Gallery, Buffalo; Camden Arts Centre, London; Hara Museum, Tokyo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum van Loon, Amsterdam; National Portrait Gallery, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Saatchi Collection, London; Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis; and Tate Britain, London. The artist lives and works in London, England and France.