Tracey Emin | 20 Years

  • 2nd August − 9th November 2008 | Modern One (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art) | £6 (£4)

Emin's Life

Like no other artist, Emin’s life and art are inextricably bound. Born in London in 1963, she grew up in Margate. Her father, a Turkish Cypriot, was already married, but thereafter split his time between the two families, spending three nights a week in Margate.

Emin had a difficult childhood and dropped out of school at thirteen. She squatted in London from the age of fifteen, and then lived in DHSS accommodation in Margate; one of her jobs was working the till at a sex shop. She then studied at art colleges in Essex and in London, before staging her first exhibition, at the White Cube Gallery, in London in 1993, when she was thirty. Since the mid-1990s she has been recognized as one of the leading figures of the YBA (Young British Artist) group.

Emin’s great achievement is to have drawn directly upon her background – the sort of background that remains uncharted territory in the world of art - and to have done so in a manner that is neither tragic nor sentimental. Subjects such as sex, her parents, her grandmother, Margate, fame, wealth and depression, emerged in her work in the 1990s in a raw, articulate and potent form.


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