Whether you love or loathe her (we’re definitely the former), there’s always plenty in an Emin show to kickstart the conversation in the pub afterwards (and being Bermondsey Street, there are lots of those too).
This new SE1 exhibition spans the entire (bigger-than-you-think) gallery and brings together painting, photography, large-scale sculpture, film and neon text, all stemming from the artist’s personal memories and emotions ranging from loss to spiritual love.
Three monumental, bronze sculptural figures – the largest Emin has produced to date – are shown alongside her lyrical and expressive paintings. Developed through a process of drawing, the paintings are then intensely reworked and added to, layer upon layer.
There’s also a photographic series entitled Insomnia, from which she says she has suffered for years. Selected from thousands of selfies taken on her iPhone, these images capture the restlessness and inner turmoil most of us can identify with; they’re pretty mesmerising, too.
And finally, there’s a new 22-minute film, as well as the key early work How It Feels (1996), a candid account of the abortions that changed her whole approach to making art.
A word of warning: on our Saturday afternoon visit, the screening room was full, and the gallery chocka, so off-peak is definitely the way forward.
Main image: Tracey Emin, ‘A Fortnight of Tears’, White Cube Bermondsey © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2017. Photo © White Cube (Theo Christelis)