Controversial and daring, one of Britain’s leading female artists, Tracey Emin is known for her bold and honest statements. This summer, Château La Coste presents, Surrounded by You, an exhibition of painting and sculpture by the British artist. Emin’s art is all about her, her life became her art, a personal reflection, an ever-changing yet universal subject.
Painting in particular has become an increasingly central and intense part of her practice, often revisiting canvases over the course of months or years, creating rich, haunting layers, a mark of memories of a time that’s gone.
“When I’m drawing, I can play. I can trust things… it’s like freedom, it’s everything. Then when I’m painting, it’s like I’m scared and I don’t know what’s going to happen, as the painting takes over it becomes more exciting.”
Two monumental new bronze sculptures, the biggest the artist has ever made have also been created for this exhibition. Like many of the paintings, they evoke the female nude. However, Emin has also been inspired by the local mountain ranges, in particular Mount Saint Victoire. Their solid presence offers the gravitas of a mountain in counter-balance to the expressive movement and energetic moments found in Emin’s paintings. The amorphous nature of these massive figures retain the marks of the artist and the moulding process, maintaining a delicate tension – tender, yet robust.
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, Japan, Australia and America. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, becoming the second female artist to ever do so. That same year, Emin was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and a Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. In 2011 she became the Royal Academy’s Professor of Drawing and in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts.
Credits and Copyrights: Artwork Images (Courtesy the Artist, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Rome, White Cube London, Xavier Hufkens Bruxelles. Photo: Stéphane Aboudaram).