29 May – 4 July 2009
White Cube Mason's Yard
''The title for my show is self-explanatory: love rarely comes easily and if it does, it usually goes quite quickly. And there is death, and loss, which at some point in our lives we all have to deal with. I’m constantly fighting with the notion of love and passion. Love, sex, lust – in my heart and mind there is always some battle, some kind of conflict. This show is essentially a drawings show. Everything is simple and linear, straight to the point. The show is to coincide with the release of my book ‘One Thousand Drawings’ published by Rizzoli. New works in the show include an animation, made up of many drawings of a woman masturbating. I say, a woman, because I didn’t necessarily mean it to be myself, but it is a symbol of lust and loneliness, as well as self-preservation. Other works in the show date from as early as 1991. There is a simplicity and modesty about this show that has made me feel very happy and complete, like I have gone a full circle and I’m back to what I really know.'' - Tracey Emin 2009
There can be few artists who reveal the intimate details of their life so powerfully and with such candour as Tracey Emin. She works across a wide variety of media: drawing, filmmaking, installation, painting, neon, photography, sewn work and sculpture. Her work is both intensely personal and resonantly universal and, as fellow artist Julian Schnabel said recently: “Tracey’s need to be honest supercedes all decisions in her life and art. The crystalline presentation of the most intimate and private emotions are what she wants to share with us.”
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, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, Australia, The United States and Chile. In 2008 Emin held her first major retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, which subsequently toured to Malaga (2008) and Bern in 2009. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, London, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. She lives and works in London.
Rizzoli published a new title to coincide with this exhibition. Compiled in close collaboration with the artist – and unprecedented in its scope –Tracey Emin: One Thousand Drawings is a comprehensive collection of the drawings and monoprints of one our leading contemporary artists.
Tracey Emin’s expressive and visceral art is one of disclosure, dealing with personal experience and heightened states of emotion. Frank and intimate but universal in its relevance, her work draws on the fundamental themes of love, desire, loss and grief, unravelling in the process the nuanced constructs of ‘woman’ and ‘self’ through probing self-exploration. ‘The most beautiful thing is honesty, even if it’s really painful to look at’, she has remarked.FULL PROFILE