Carolina Nitsch is pleased to announce the exhibition Tracey Emin New Monotypes, a series of recent unique prints, some with additional hand painting, which the artist completed in the spring and fall of 2015 in New York.
For Emin, who studied printmaking at Maidstone College of Art, transferring her texts and drawings has often been an important aspect of her practice. From her earliest monoprint/drawings in the 1990’s to her print collaboration with Louise Bourgeois in 2010 entitled “Do Not Abandon Me” (also published by Carolina Nitsch), Emin has been making prints in one form or another. This body of work coincides with her newest series of figurative works which illustrate her shifting sensibilities of passion, love and permanence. Nitsch introduced Emin to master printer Maurice Sanchez at his studio in Long Island City to produce a series of works on paper. Monotype printing is essentially a method for an artist to draw or paint on a substrate which is then transferred to paper through a press. There is no matrix as in reproductive printing so each print is in essence, unique. This transfer process yields particularly exceptional qualities in the image that cannot be achieved any other way. A certain aqueous fluidity reveals itself that could not be realized by painting on paper alone. After the initial print a few more “pulls” can be achieved, although these are lighter and are called “ghost prints”. With some of these ghost prints, Emin then painted directly on the paper to pull back some of the hidden elements producing a hybrid of drawing and print.
The works in this series are overtly classical yet deeply personal. Some of the images recall Michelangelo’s late “prisoner” sculptures where the figures appear to be struggling to free themselves from stone. One could also find elements of Courbet, Manet, Rodin and of course Schiele. Emin’s affinity to Egon Schiele is unmistakable and it is from this modernist sensibility that she draws and expands upon. Themes of provocation and sexuality are apparent in many compositions while others speak of unrequited love, suffering, longing and desire. Emin is probing the difficult expanse between love and lust; loneliness and being at peace, alone; bitter separation and letting go without attachment. These works on paper are like poems, hinting at a self-reflective journey of love.
Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963, and studied at Maidstone College of Art and painting at the Royal College of Art, London. She has exhibited extensively internationally including solo and group exhibitions in Holland, Germany, Japan, Australia and America. In 2007 Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale, becoming the second female artist to ever do so. That same year, Emin was made a Royal Academician and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Art, a Doctor of Letters from the University of Kent and a Doctor of Philosophy from London Metropolitan University. In 2011 she became the Royal Academy's Professor of Drawing and in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for her contributions to the visual arts.