Tracey Emin: Fear, War and The Scream

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Media Release: May, 2004. 

Once again City Gallery Wellington is bringing the hottest contemporary art in the world to New Zealand.

Global art phenomenon and media celebrity Tracey Emin’s exhibition Fear, War and The Scream will be on show for New Zealand audiences from 30 May – 22 August 2004. The exhibition is the first solo showing of Tracey Emin’s work in this country.

Emin came to international attention in 1997 with the inclusion of her work Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (1963-1995) in the major international touring exhibition Sensation: Young British Artists. In 1999 she was short-listed for the Tate Gallery’s Turner Prize, Britain’s most prestigious contemporary art award.

Hailed as the most prominent artist of her generation and the best-known living artist in the United Kingdom, Emin has never shied away from controversy. She produces art which is confronting and autobiographical, unflinchingly honest and often provocative.

Tracey Emin’s artworks are confessional; exposing her hopes, fears and humiliations in an extremely frank and direct manner. Her work is a direct manifestation of her personality – a noisy collision of passion, vulnerability, promiscuity, fragility, anguish and extraordinary humanity.

Fear War and The Scream includes new work relating to the Iraq War as well as some selected earlier pieces. Emin describes the exhibition as “a collection of paintings, monoprints, sculptures and video made over the past year and a half which concentrates on the aggression of fear and how fear can push us into actions which we often regret.” Emin says that “even though some of these works are very personal I feel they will translate into a grander language."

Paula Savage, Director of City Gallery Wellington says “Tracey Emin is the most exciting and arresting manifestation of BritArt. This is a special opportunity for Wellingtonian’s to see the work of an artist who has taken the world by storm.”

Born in London in 1963, Emin was brought up in Margate, Kent. She attended the Royal College of Art where she gained a Masters of Arts in Painting in 1989. She had her first solo exhibition in 1994 and since then has been included in major exhibitions of contemporary art internationally.

She has also had numerous solo exhibitions. Her work is included in major collections worldwide, including Tate Gallery, London; British Museum; Pompidou Centre, Paris; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; and Saatchi Collection, London. The major exhibition Ten Years. Tracey Emin followed Colin McCahon: A Question of Faith at the Stedeljk Museum, Amsterdam, in 2002.

Fear, War and The Scream features recent work by the artist and is toured by the RoslynOxley9 Gallery, Sydney. City Gallery Wellington is managed by The Wellington Museums Trust with major funding support from Wellington City Council.