Hayward Gallery
exhibition

Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want

Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want, 18 May – 29 August 2011, Hayward Gallery. Tracey Emin is one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary artists. This major survey, her first in London, included work in different media and covered every period of her career, revealing facets of the artist and her work that are often overlooked. 

Since the early 1990s, Emin has used her own life as the starting point for her art, exposing the most harrowing and intimate details of her personal history. Sometimes confrontational or sexually provocative, her work resonates with the ‘personal political’ legacy of feminist art while at the same time speaking to relationships in general. Disarmingly frank and yet often profoundly private, much of Emin’s art – as this show made clear – is also animated by her playful and ironic wit.

The exhibition featured painting, drawing, photography, textiles, video and sculpture, in works by turns tough, romantic, desperate, angry, funny and full of longing. Seldom-seen early works and recent large-scale installations were shown together with a new series of outdoor sculptures created especially for the Hayward Gallery. 

The exhibition was accompanied by a comprehensive monograph featuring texts by Michael Corris, Jennifer Doyle, Ali Smith and Hayward Gallery curator Cliff Lauson, and an interview with Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff. 

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Tracey Emin is one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary artists. This major survey, her first in London, included work in different media and covered every period of her career, revealing facets of the artist and her work that are often overlooked. 

Since the early 1990s, Emin has used her own life as the starting point for her art, exposing the most harrowing and intimate details of her personal history. Sometimes confrontational or sexually provocative, her work resonates with the ‘personal political’ legacy of feminist art while at the same time speaking to relationships in general. Disarmingly frank and yet often profoundly private, much of Emin’s art – as this show made clear – is also animated by her playful and ironic wit.

The exhibition featured painting, drawing, photography, textiles, video and sculpture, in works by turns tough, romantic, desperate, angry, funny and full of longing. Seldom-seen early works and recent large-scale installations were shown together with a new series of outdoor sculptures created especially for the Hayward Gallery. 

The exhibition was accompanied by a comprehensive monograph featuring texts by Michael Corris, Jennifer Doyle, Ali Smith and Hayward Gallery curator Cliff Lauson, and an interview with Hayward Gallery Director Ralph Rugoff. 

Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want

A fully illustrated catalogue with contributions by acclaimed writers including novelist Ali Smith. 

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