Tracey Emin

B. 1963


Born in London, Britain, Tracey Emin is a major figure in contemporary art. Part of the Young British Artists of the 1980s, her work is autobiographical and confessional – drawing on themes of love, desire, loss and grief, in turn troubling our construction of ‘woman’, ‘artist’ and ‘self’. 


She is perhaps best known for her 1998 installation ‘My Bed’, exhibited for The Turner Prize in 1999. A visceral self-portrait, the work consisted of her unmade dirty bed where she had spent weeks in a depressive episode – eating, sleeping, smoking, having sex. Both moving and shocking, ‘My Bed’ propelled Emin into notoriety.


An “Enfant Terrible” of contemporary art turned professor at the Royal Academy, Emin’s legacy is far-reaching. She has represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, been the subject of major retrospectives and 2020, exhibited alongside Evard Munch at the Royal Academy of Arts.


Read more about Emin's practice here

Tracey Emin

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