Tracey Emin is one of the most famous and controversial British contemporary artists. Tracey Emin (born in London in 1963) became known in the field of Young British Artists (YBA). She gained a degree of notoriety with her uncompromising personal works. In her home country Tracey Emin is a celebrity. Her works are being collected by famous personalities and she is a welcome guest on parties and an interviewee on TV. There are even Tracey Emin songs.
The current retrospective, 20 Years, at the Kunstmuseum Bern is the most comprehensive Tracey Emin exhibition to date. This first big retrospective, put together by the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, is also Tracey Emin’s very first solo exhibition in Switzerland. The show charts her career from the late 1980’s to the present day.
Highlights of the exhibition include My Bed, perhaps the artist’s most celebrated work (comprising her unmade bed, surrounded by the debris of her everyday life), which caused a scandal when it was shown on the occasion of the Turner Prize-exhibition in 1998. Other works in which she refers to her sexual past, her lack of schooling, her abortions as well as her affinity with alcohol are not less provocative. The exhibition shows the full range of Emin’s work in an exceptionally wide range of media: from her famous appliquéd blankets to video; from neons and installation to her intensely personal paintings and drawings.
This video provides an exhibition walk-through and an introduction by the curator of the exhibition, Kathleen Bühler.
Tracey Emin – 20 Years at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bern, Switzerland. Opening reception, March 18, 2009. The exhibition runs until the 21st June 2009. There’s a extensive special events program (guided tours, lectures, talks). Tip: Apart from the catalogue, there’s also a fashion magazine-style Tracey Emin Magazin!
See also: Tracey Emin / British Pavilion / 52nd Venice Biennale.
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