Tracey Emin (b. 1963)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Tracey Emin (b. 1963)

To Meet My Past

Tracey Emin (b. 1963)
To Meet My Past
four poster bed, mattress, appliqué linens and curtains
overall: 102 3/8 x 67 x 84½in. (260 x 170 x 215cm.)
Executed in 2002
Lehmann Maupin, New York.
Acquired from the above in 2002.
J. Norman, Handmade in Britain, London 2012 (illustrated, unpaged). T. Emin, 'Pieces of Me', in Vogue, March 2010 (illustrated in colour, p. 322).
New York, Lehmann Maupin, I Think It's in My Head, 2002.
London, Victoria and Albert Museum, Quilts: 1700-2010: Hidden Histories, Untold Stories, 2010 (illustrated in colour, p. 229).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. VAT rate of 20% is payable on hammer price and buyer's premium

Brought to you by

Client Service
Client Service

Lot Essay

'Quilt-making has always been considered a craft. It's never been held up in the realms of high art. But I hope, I feel, that my practice has managed to change some of these conceptions. I have always treated my blanketmaking more like a painting in terms of building up layers and textures... Quilt-making involves a lot of thought and love. Just the time involved in the process means many things are discussed and considered concerning life'

(T. Emin, reproduced at
Tracey-Emins-quilt-goes-on-display.html accessed 29th May 2103).

Resplendent with hand-sewn blankets, embroidered cushions and decorative curtains, Tracey Emin's four poster bed To Meet My Past is a shrine to the artist herself. Compellingly personal in its inviting, cosy familiarity, Emin has utilised every available surface of the bed in a near obsessive manner. Literally sewing her own fiction into the fabric of her artwork, Emin has inscribed the sheets and upholstery with anecdotes and phrases in her distinctive handwriting and heart-rending, fragile drawings: 'To Meet My Past' is sewn in yellow capital yellows on the deep purple coverlet, 'Please God don't do this to me' reads one ornate cushion, 'Weird sex' is emblazoned above the head board, and 'I cannot believe I was afraid of ghosts, Tracey Emin 1969-1974' has been embroidered on the pristine white sheets spidery black thread. Created in 2002, the work builds upon the artist's infamous, ground-breaking works My Bed (1998) and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963 - 1995 (1995). In all three of these revelatory works, Emin invites the viewer into one of the most private domains possible, a place normally revealed only to our most intimate acquaintances. In To Meet My Past, confessional tapestry work and embroidered text replaces the remnants of slovenly distress that were so faithfully replicated in My Bed, but still evokes its sensational, narrative disclosure. Juxtaposing deeply personal, frequently sexualised and provocative revelations with opulent drapery and winsome chintz patterns, To Meet My Past engages the viewer in its candid personal exploration.

Emin first started integrating sewing into her work in 1993, when she had her first solo show at White Cube. From scrapes of her clothes that carried sentimental value, the creation of Emin's blankets was an intensely personal process in which she engaged the help of her friends. The artist recalled that with the first blanket that she sold she 'curled up in bed with it tucked around me and cried at the idea of it going away.' Sewing and quilt-making have since remained integral to her practice. Comparing it to building up the layers and textures in a painting, Emin's quilts tell stories through their material, the text emblazoned on them as well as the memories evoked during the making of it. As Emin has said, 'Quilt-making involves a lot of thought and love. Just the time involved in the process means many things are discussed and considered concerning life' (T. Emin, reproduced at ilt-goeson-display.html accessed 29th May 2103).


View All
View All