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The Hayward Gallery Presents the First Major London Exhibition of Artist Tracey Emin
British artist Tracey Emin stands in front of a piece of her reclaimed painted timber and neon artwork ' Sleeping with you' at the Hayward Gallery, in London. The exhibition is her first major exhibition in London, and features key works from all periods of the artist's career, including seldom-seen early works and more recent large-scale installations. AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth.

LONDON.- Today the Hayward Gallery unveils TRACEY EMIN: LOVE IS WHAT YOU WANT, the first major survey in London of the work of one of the UK’s most renowned and celebrated artists. The exhibition features key works from all periods of the artist’s career, including seldom-seen early works and more recent large-scale installations as well as a new series of outdoor sculptures created especially for the Hayward. The exhibition, supported by Louis Vuitton, is on show from 18 May to 29 August 2011, and is a highlight of Southbank Centre’s celebration of the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Festival of Britain with MasterCard. It is co curated by Dr Cliff Lauson, Curator, and Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery.

Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery said: “Tracey Emin is one of the most celebrated and talked about artists of her generation. Despite this much of the public remains familiar with only a very small fraction of her work. Our intention is to look beyond this narrow focus by presenting in its diversity and depth the full expanse of Tracey Emin’s artistic accomplishments.”

Highlights include:
• A new series of large-scale outdoor sculptures created especially for the Hayward Gallery. Mother, Father, Children (2011) explores the relationships between family members, a long-standing theme in Emin's work, and reveals a surprising and new direction to her work.

• The largest ever presentation of her most famous appliquéd blankets – 12 in total, double hung in a spectacular installation in the exhibition’s opening gallery including Hotel International (1993) and Psyco Slut (1999). Alongside Knowing My Enemy (2002), a partially-collapsed wooden pier that rears above visitors as they enter the exhibition.

• A series of 16 (chk) neon art works which illuminate emotions, memories, feelings and ideas, including a new heart-shaped neon Love is What You Want (2011) are dramatically displayed along a darkened wall evoking the atmospheric nightlife of bars, clubs and amusement arcades.

• Shown for the first time are a series of bonds – one of which was a small monoprint drawings with authentication stamps – the purpose of which was to fund, establish and run The Tracey Emin Museum (1995-97) set up by Emin on Waterloo Road. Shown together these showcase Emin’s early entrepreneurial talent, an aspect of her work seldom addressed.

• The ashes of The Shop, the enterprise that Emin and Sarah Lucas set up together in the East End in 1993. For six months they made and sold their own merchandise. When The Shop closed Emin burnt its remaining contents so it could never be recreated.

• Running Naked (2000/2011) - a new photographic work which shows the artist running naked down an East London street, reworked from a film shot originally by her ex-boyfriend the artist Mat Collishaw in 2000.

Tracey Emin (b. 1963) emerged onto the British art scene in the early 1990s, running ‘The Shop’ in East London with friend and artist Sarah Lucas. Around this time in a continuing entrepreneurial spirit, Emin invited friends, collectors, and dealers to ‘invest’ in her creative potential. She also began writing as a form of artistic practice. In the following years Emin had her first exhibition entitled ‘My Major Retrospective’ (1993) at White Cube gallery, her first exhibition in a public gallery at the South London Gallery (1997), and opened her own public studio/gallery space ‘The Tracey Emin Museum’ on Waterloo Road (1995-8). These early exhibitions established Emin’s willingness to make works of art that take as their starting points the most intimate details of her personal history. Sometimes confrontational or sexually provocative, Emin’s work resonates with the ‘personal is political’ legacy of feminist art while at the same time maintaining a universal accessibility that speaks to relationships in general.

Dr Cliff Lauson, Hayward Gallery Curator said: “This exhibition explores the breadth of Tracey Emin's remarkably diverse career, a practice that is both emotionally compelling and critically engaging.”

The Hayward exhibition brings together key works in all media, including painting, textiles, works on paper, photography, neon, film and sculpture. Works are arranged either thematically or juxtaposed to invite new readings of them.

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May 18, 2011

The Hayward Gallery Presents the First Major London Exhibition of Artist Tracey Emin

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