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TRACEY EMIN (B. 1963)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
TRACEY EMIN (B. 1963)

Mad Tracey from Margate. Everyone´s Been There

Details
TRACEY EMIN (B. 1963)
Mad Tracey from Margate. Everyone´s Been There
signed and dated 'TRACEY EMIN 1997' (lower right edge)
appliqué blanket, fabric from clothing provided by friends
105 7/8 x 84in. (267 x 216cm.)
Executed in 1997
Provenance
White Cube.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1997.
Literature
M. Merck and C. Townsend (eds.), The Art of Tracey Emin, London 2002, pp. 96, 188 and 200, no. 50 (illustrated in colour, p. 189).
Just Love Me, exh. cat., Leeuwarden, Fries Museum Leeuwarden, 2002 (illustrated p. 11).
J. Litson, ‘Tracey Emin’, in Look, February 2003 (illustrated, p. 13).
C. Burnett, Writers on Artists, New York 2001 (illustrated, p. 210).
R. Skilbeck, ‘Emin down under’, in Pol Oxygen Issue two, April-May 2003 (illustrated, p. 124).
H. Luard and P. Miles (eds.), Tracey Emin: Works 1963-2006, New York 2006, pp. 192 and 409 (illustrated in colour, p. 193).
N. Brown, Tate Modern Artists: Tracey Emin, London 2006 (illustrated in colour, p. 47).
C. Jalving, VAERK som handling, exh. cat., Copenhagen, Museum Tusculanums Forlag, 2011, pp. 184, 187 and 194, no. 48 (illustrated in colour, p. 186).
R. Campbell- Johnston, ‘I Arrived a Sceptic and Left a Convert,’ in The Times, May 2011 (illustrated, p. 10-11).
M. Power, ‘A Mind of Their Own’, in Stylist, May 2011 (illustrated, p. 54).
M. Warner, ‘At the Hayward’, in London Review of Books, 25 August 2011 (illustrated, p. 29).
Slanted c/o MAGMA Brand Design (ed.), Bright! Typography between Illustration and Art, Cologne 2012.
J. Harlan Rohleder, ‘Tracey Emin’, in Interview Russia, December 2012 (illustrated, p. 123).
J. Harlan Rohleder, ‘Tracey Emin’, in Interview Germany, December 2012 (illustrated, p. 142).
Exhibited
London, South London Gallery, Tracey Emin: I Need Art Like I Need God, 1997, pp. 36-37 and 66 (installation view illustrated in colour, p. 33; illustrated in colour, p. 43).
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Ten Years, Tracey Emin, 2002, p. 38, no. 17 (illustrated in colour, p. 19).
Edinburgh, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Tracey Emin 20 Years, 2008, p. 147, no. 21 (illustrated in colour, p. 69). This exhibition later travelled to Malaga, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo and Bern, Kunstmuseum Bern.
London, Hayward Gallery, Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want, 2011, pp. 12 and 251 (illustrated in colour, p. 89).
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.

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Katharine Arnold
Katharine Arnold

Lot Essay

‘[Emin] has titled herself “Mad Tracey from Margate”, her experiences appliquéd into history by her own hand in the blanket Mad Tracey from Margate. Everyone’s Been There, 1997’ (R. Vara, ‘Another Dimension: Tracey Emin’s Interest in Mysticism’ in M. Merck and C. Townsend (eds.), The Art of Tracey Emin, London 2002, p. 188).

‘Through the action of “sewing” out her stories, Emin adds an extra personal touch to her work, making it more believable and genuine. She is literally spinning the yarn of her life: ancient diary entries, love letters, childhood memories, conversations she’s never forgotten. It’s storytelling in the tradition of folk art, patching security blankets for healing and nurture’ (P. Ellis in C. Saatchi and P. Ellis, 100: The Work that Changed British Art, London 2003, p. 209).

‘Emin’s blankets are voice-works. It’s as though they were hung out and caught language as it passed through them, from tiny detail to huge declaration’ (A. Smith, ‘Emin’s Emendations’ in Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2011, p. 27).

Standing as a definitive example of Tracey Emin’s seminal appliquéd blankets, Mad Tracey from Margate, Everyone’s Been There invites the viewer into the deeply personal and emotionally-charged world of the artist. Operating as a form of visual poetry, it constitutes a polyphonic mood-board of diaristic outpouring, and a vehicle for Emin’s own contemporary story-telling. Using fabric from clothing provided by her friends, as well as fragments of her own drawings and letters, Emin’s meticulously hand-stitched phrases and declarations implore and regale: from the poignant to the anecdotal, the brazen to the banal, the enigmatic to the idiosyncratically mis-spelt (‘back to your week world’). Performing as an open arena for candid self-expression, the work epitomizes the tender, introspective, yet deeply expressive aesthetic that characterises Emin’s practice. Executed in 1997, the same pivotal year that Emin was included in the landmark exhibition of the YbAs, Sensation at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, the work represents a key statement of her self-image at a critical moment in her career. ‘Mad Tracey from Margate’ was to become her artistic persona, forming the title of the 1999 documentary that presented Emin to the world. The work takes its place within her early rise to acclaim, situated between the 1995 fabric tent Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, and the iconic self portrait installation My Bed, 1998, which was nominated for the Turner Prize. Like both of these works, Mad Tracey from Margate, Everyone’s Been There positions the viewer as voyeur and confidante of Emin’s most intimate thoughts and confessions. Created over a six-month period, the work was exhibited in the year of its execution as part of the artist’s solo show at the South London Gallery. It has subsequently featured in major retrospectives at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh in 2008, and at the Hayward Gallery, London, in 2011.

Within a hugely diversified output, it was Emin’s textile-based works that first catapulted her to international recognition, and which continue to play an integral role in her practice. First coming to prominence in the early 1990s with the hand-made items sold in the Bethnal Green shop she shared with Sarah Lucas, Emin began her series of appliquéd blankets in 1993. Among the earliest of these works was Hotel International, documenting the artist’s childhood and early teenage years in the Margate hotel where she grew up. The present work, immortalizing the self-imposed label ‘Mad Tracey from Margate’, emphasises the artist’s deep identification with her home town and the turbulent years she spent there. In Hotel International, Emin had memorialized her childhood by using her own comfort blanket. The appliquéd works that followed carry the same association, often using fabrics from Emin’s past and present imbued with personal meaning: sofa coverings, sheets and, as in the present work, fragments of clothing. Emin documented these garments in a companion work of 1997, Trying on clothes from my friends (she took the shirt off my back). Carefully stitched over long periods, her appliquéd works engage with her most vivid and important memories. As Patricia Ellis explains, ‘Through the action of “sewing” out her stories, Emin adds an extra personal touch to her work, making it more believable and genuine. She is literally spinning the yarn of her life: ancient diary entries, love letters, childhood memories, conversations she’s never forgotten. It’s storytelling in the tradition of folk art, patching security blankets for healing and nurture’ (P. Ellis, in C. Saatchi and P. Ellis, 100: The Work that Changed British Art, London 2003, p. 209).

In their innovative use of textile media, the blanket works reinvent the tradition of handicraft that fuelled the feminist art of the 1960s and 1970s. Resonating with the autobiographical work of Louise Bourgeois, an artist whom Emin greatly admired, the appliquéd blankets subvert the traditionally held view of sewing as a feminine craft, recasting it as a form of collage and self-expression. Expanding on this point, Emin remarked ‘I have always treated my blanket making more like a painting in terms of building up layers and textures’ (T. Emin, reproduced at http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/ art/features/stitches-in-time-quiltmaking-as-contemporary-art-1921331. html [accessed 5 January 2014). The blankets merge personal introspection with the punchy one-liner aesthetic of advertising billboards; as Rosemary Betterton has discussed, their slogans and declarations recall the protest banners of the Suffragettes. ‘Emin’s blankets are voice-works’, Ali Smith has written. ‘It’s as though they were hung out and caught language as it passed through them, from tiny detail to huge declaration’ (A. Smith, ‘Emin’s Emendations’ in Tracey Emin: Love is What You Want, exh. cat., Hayward Gallery, London, 2011, p. 27). Navigating seamlessly between the public and the private, Mad Tracey from Margate, Everyone’s Been There is a work that encapsulates the very essence of Emin’s practice.

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