Tracey Emin

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Tracey Emin bigraphy, stories - English artist, one of the group known as Britartists or Young British Artists

Tracey Emin : biography

3 July 1963 –

Tracey Karima Emin, CBE, RA (born 3 July 1963) is an English artist. She is part of the group known as Britartists or YBAs (Young British Artists).

In 1997 her work Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995, a tent appliquéd with names, was shown at Charles Saatchi’s Sensation exhibition held at the Royal Academy in London. The same year, she gained considerable media exposure when she appeared drunk and swearing on a live Channel 4 TV discussion.

In 1999, Emin had her first solo exhibition in the United States at Lehmann Maupin Gallery, entitled "Every Part of Me’s Bleeding". Later that year, she was a Turner Prize nominee and exhibited My Bed — an installation, consisting of her own unmade dirty bed with used condoms and blood-stained underwear.

In 2004 her tent artwork was destroyed in the Momart warehouse fire. In March 2007 Emin was chosen to join the Royal Academy of Arts in London as a Royal Academician. She represented Britain at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Her first major retrospective 20 Years was held in Edinburgh 2008, and toured Europe until 2009.

In May 2011 Emin’s largest major solo exhibition in a public space was held at Hayward Gallery, London titled Love Is What You Want.

In April 2011 she opened the Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate with Jools Holland and between May and September 2012 she is holding her first exhibition there, entitled "She Lay Down Deep Beneath The Sea".

Emin is a panellist and speaker: she has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney (2010), the Royal Academy of Arts (2008), and the Tate Britain in London (2005) about the links between creativity and autobiography, and the role of subjectivity and personal histories in constructing art. Emin’s art takes many different forms of expression including needlework and sculpture, drawing, video and installation, photography and painting.

In December 2011 she was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy; with Fiona Rae, she is one of the first two female professors since the Academy was founded in 1768. Emin was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to the arts.

Momart fire (2004)

On 24 May 2004, a fire in a Momart storage warehouse in East London destroyed many works from the Saatchi collection, including Emin’s famous tent with appliquéd letters, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 ("The Tent") (1995) and The Last Thing I Said To You Is Don’t Leave Me Here ("The Hut") (1999), Emin’s blue wooden beach hut that she bought with fellow artist Sarah Lucas and shared with her boyfriend of the time, the gallerist Carl Freedman. Emin spoke out angrily against what she perceived as a general public lack of sympathy, and even amusement, at the loss of the artworks in the fire. However, she also put the loss in her perspective, commenting:

Twenty Years retrospective (2008)

The first major retrospective of Emin’s work was held in Edinburgh between August and November 2008 attracting over 40,000 visitors, breaking the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art’s record for an exhibition of work by a living artist.

The large scale exhibition included the full range of Emin’s art from the rarely seen early work to the iconic My Bed (1998) and the room-sized installation Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made (1996). The show displayed her unique appliquéd blankets, paintings, sculptures, films, neons, drawings and monoprints. The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was the only UK venue for the show which travels to the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo in Málaga, Spain and then to the Kunstmuseum in Bern, Switzerland from 2009.

It was reported on 6 November 2008 that Emin gifted a major sculpture to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art as a "thank you" to both the gallery and the city of Edinburgh. The work called Roman Standard (2005) comprises a bronze pole, surmounted by a little bird, cast in bronze. The work has an estimated value of at least £75,000.