The written word is central to Tracey Emin's famously candid and confessional art. Poetic texts - always in her distinctive scrawling handwriting - appear in her neons, monoprints, etchings, and her embroidered artworks. The scratchy idiosyncratic script enforces the emotional tenor of her work, which ranges a wide spectrum from fragile, sweet, vulnerable and meditative to strong, fervent, impassioned, and even aggressive.
"Poetry can be one line, a sentence. When you read the words, you imagine what you're seeing, you're given a sense of vision by the words", the artist has commented. She also credits 13th century esoteric love poems as a source of inspiration for her work. "If I don't write there isn't going to be any art, it's that simple", she has said.
The text of 'Love Poem' is one that the artist has revisited throughout her career. Written in the late '90s, it was used in her first neon artwork, 'Love Poem for CF', the centerpiece of her breakthrough solo show at the South London Gallery in 1997.
'Love Poem' is released on the occasion of her first major museum show in the USA, 'Angel Without You' at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami.
Always at the centre of her own world, Tracey Emin uses all aspects of her life in her art, turning intimate autobiography into broader statements about sex, love, death, freedom and everyday life. Her work has taken the form of diaristic drawings, paintings, films, sculptures and written stories, all of which convey the same combination of frustration, pain, compassion and wit. Drawing and printmaking have remained key mediums for Emin, and over the last ten years she has produced a steady output of monotype prints directly from her drawings.
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