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Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds Ocula Conversation Jess Johnson: Worlds Within Worlds

Geometric patterns, anthropomorphic characters, architectural spatial environments, and relics of the ancient world appear throughout Jess Johnson's artworks.Johnson's solo art-ventures began in drawing, but her long-term collaborative relationship with animator Simon Ward brings her drawings to life in videos and virtual reality. The animator has...

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Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger Ocula Conversation Melati Suryodarmo: Performance Art as Trigger

In 2012, Melati Suryodarmo opened Studio Plesungan in her native Surakarta, also known as Solo, the historic royal capital of the Mataram Empire of Java in Indonesia. Suryodarmo had returned to Indonesia from Germany, where she studied Butoh and choreography with Butoh dancer and choreographer Anzu Furukawa, time-based media with avantgarde...

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Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City Ocula Report Lagos Biennial 2019: Stories from Africa’s most Populous City 15 Nov 2019 : Jareh Das for Ocula

Under the direction of Folakunle Oshun, the second edition of the Lagos Biennial (26 October–23 November 2019) includes works by over 40 Lagos-based and international artists, architects, and collectives. Curated by architect Tosin Oshinowo, curator and producer Oyindamola Fakeye, and assistant curator of photography at the Art Institute of...

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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough Ocula Insight | Video
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Hans Hartung and Art Informel: Exhibition Walkthrough 15 October 2019

Hans Hartung and Art Informel at Mazzoleni London (1 October 2019-18 January 2020) presents key works by the French-German painter while highlighting his connection with artists active in Paris during the 50s and 60s. In this video, writer and historian Alan Montgomery discusses Hartung's practice and its legacy.Born in Leipzig in 1904, Hans...

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Tracey Emin

b. 1963, United Kingdom

Confessional, candid, challenging and poignant. These are some of the words commonly used to describe the works of Tracey Emin. Emin is most celebrated for her visualisation of universal contemporary experiences, drawn from her own personal memories, dreams and body. A modern-day Expressionist, her work encompasses painting, installation, sculpture, photography, embroidery, neon and drawing.

Emin is remembered as one of the Young British Artists (YBAs)—a loose grouping of artists who became known for their nonconformist art and larger-than-life attitudes in the 1990s. Among her YBA contemporaries—including Damien Hirst and Jake and Dinos Chapman—Emin was close friends with Sarah Lucas, and in 1993 the two young artists opened a shop to sell their artworks. Emin's breakthrough, however, came from the works that, through their stark honesty to the point of provocation, deconstructed the border between life and art, and openly shared her personal experiences. Inside a tent, Emin appliquéd the names of every person she had shared a bed with from the time of her birth to the year 1995, thus creating Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 (1995). Her most iconic work, My Bed (1998), is an installation of her bed from a depressive phase when she did not leave her bed for several days. Surrounding the unmade mattress are empty bottles, used condoms and tissues, which immortalises a particular moment in the artist's life with its loneliness, despair and private suffering intact. Emotionally powerful and outrageously frank, Emin's works redefined the ways in which a female artist could discuss herself—her life, her body—in public.

Often at the centre of Emin's work is the female nude, especially her own—a tendency that has led some critics to regard her oeuvre as feminist. Although the artist herself has somewhat denied association, her blunt exploration of the female body and sexuality reflect the feminist belief that a woman can define her own sexuality. Between 2009 and 2010, Emin collaborated with Louise Bourgeois in the last months of the famously feminist artist's life. In the resulting exhibition Do Not Abandon Me (2011), the autobiographical paintings showed the two artists engaging in different aspects of their lives, from Emin's traumatic memories to Bourgeois' experience as a mother. In relation to the use of the female body in her work, Emin reflected in a conversation with Ocula Magazine that 'I know my body better than anyone else. I am my best model; it makes it really different that I am the woman because I am not viewing my body with a sexual gaze but with an understanding one.'

Emin was born in London in 1963 and grew up in the seaside town of Margate. She was inspired by the expressive qualities of JMW Turner and Egon Schiele from an early age, and she closely studied their styles as a student. Returning to London, she graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in painting. Over her long career, Emin has exhibited in the UK, Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia and the United States. Her work has been subject to several survey exhibitions, including her first major retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2008); Hayward Gallery, London (2011) and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012). Cited as a national treasure by the Guardian in 2015, Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale and Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts in 2013. Emin currently lives and works in England and France.

Biography by Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

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The Chopping Board by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey EminThe Chopping Board, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
182.6 x 214.2 x 3.7 cm
Xavier Hufkens
Self-Portrait, 12.11.01 (For Parkett 63) by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey EminSelf-Portrait, 12.11.01 (For Parkett 63), 2001 Unique colour print from original Polaroid
20.4 x 19.9 cm
Parkett
what Ever happened I Knew you Loved me by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey Eminwhat Ever happened I Knew you Loved me, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
152.4 x 152.1 x 4.8 cm
Xavier Hufkens
An Insane Desire For You by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey EminAn Insane Desire For You, 2019 Acrylic on canvas
183.2 x 183 x 3.5 cm
Xavier Hufkens
I Can't Believe How much How much I Loved You by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey EminI Can't Believe How much How much I Loved You, 2012 Neon (coral pink and clear blue cross out)
122.6 x 185.2 x 5 cm
Xavier Hufkens
Always There by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey EminAlways There, 2018 acrylic on canvas
20.3 x 20.3 x 1.8 cm
Xavier Hufkens
The Ghost of Me by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey EminThe Ghost of Me, 2018 gouache on paper
10 x 14.6 cm
Xavier Hufkens
She Grew up Knowing the Dead Could Live by Tracey Emin contemporary artwork
Tracey EminShe Grew up Knowing the Dead Could Live acrylic on canvas
152.8 x 152.8 x 3.4 cm
Xavier Hufkens

Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Tracey Emin, The Memory of your Touch at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
Closed
8 September–21 October 2017 Tracey Emin The Memory of your Touch Xavier Hufkens, 6 rue St-Georges, Brussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Tracey Emin, I Cried Because I Love You at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Closed
21 March–21 May 2016 Tracey Emin I Cried Because I Love You Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Billy Childish, Tracey Emin, Teresita Fernández, Angel Otero, and Juergen Teller, Horizon at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Closed
15 January–7 March 2015 Billy Childish, Tracey Emin, Teresita Fernández, Angel Otero, and Juergen Teller Horizon Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

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Frieze Sculpture 2019: See the Contemporary Art in London’s Regent's Park Ocula Insight | Video Frieze Sculpture 2019: See the Contemporary Art in London’s Regent's Park 13 August 2019

For three months, Frieze Sculpture (3 July–6 October) transforms Regent's Park, London, into an open gallery with sculptures by artists from all over the world. This year's edition is again curated by Clare Lilley, director of programme at Yorkshire Sculpture Park since 1992 and curator of Frieze Sculpture since 2012. This video, created for...

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In Memory of a Free Public: Harbour Arts Sculpture Park Ocula Report In Memory of a Free Public: Harbour Arts Sculpture Park 16 Mar 2018 : Hera Chan for Ocula

It was at Tamar Park that the initial sit-ins took place around the Legislative Council in Hong Kong, sparking the Umbrella Movement in 2014. Thousands of students advocated for universal suffrage in the response to electoral reforms enacted on Hong Kong by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. It was here, on 26 September...

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Art Basil [sic] Ocula Report Art Basil [sic] 31 Mar 2016 : Diana d'Arenberg for Ocula

I was Brainwashed the Friday before Art Basel Hong Kong kicked off. French street artist, Mr. Brainwash, was holding court—to an audience full of Hong Kong society types, complete with bodyguards, and media—with a spray can in a graffiti decorated shell-space in Lan Kwai Fong. It was one of several property developer-artist...

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Tracey Emin Ocula Conversation Tracey Emin Artist, United Kingdom

On the eve of the opening of Tracey Emin’s exhibition I Cried Because I Love You (21 March–21 May 2016) at Lehmann Maupin and White Cube in Hong Kong, Ocula interviewed the artist about her practice. The conversation took Emin’s survey exhibition She Lay Down Deep Beneath the Sea at Turner Contemporary in 2012—located in...

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In Related Press

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Paper work – the British Museum shows off its collection of contemporary drawings Related Press Paper work – the British Museum shows off its collection of contemporary drawings Apollo Magazine : 4 November 2019

Anish Kapoor, Louise Bourgeois, Rachel Whiteread, Gerhard Richter. These may not be names that spring to mind when you think of the British Museum, but they all have work filed away in its extensive archive of prints and drawings. 'Pushing Paper: Contemporary Drawing from 1970 to Now' lifts a lid on a lesser-known collection at a museum renowned...

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Frieze Sculpture 2018: the highlights Related Press Frieze Sculpture 2018: the highlights Wallpaper* : 4 July 2018

Between Wimbledon and the FIFA World Cup, there's been plenty of distractions from London's unusually Mediterranean weather of late.

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Tracey Emin on Being “Bombarded” By 2017, and Her Year of Honesty Ahead Related Press Tracey Emin on Being “Bombarded” By 2017, and Her Year of Honesty Ahead Vanity Fair : 11 December 2017

When someone talks about sharks at Art Basel Miami Beach, typically they're referring to powerful collectors and art dealers who swim through the annual art fair gobbling up everything they see. But when British artist Tracey Emin brought them up in a chat with me about her week at the beach, she was actually referring to the sea creatures. She's...

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'SHE': International women artists at Shanghai Long Museum West Bund Related Press 'SHE': International women artists at Shanghai Long Museum West Bund Art Radar Journal : 26 September 2016

Launched at the end of July 2016, SHE: International Women Artists Exhibition at Shanghai Long Museum West Bund presents a collection of works by female artists that are, according to curator Wang Wei, 'gathered together not only by their gender, but also by the true creativity'.Exhibitions of women’s art have been hesitant...

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