Lehmann Maupin announces “Stone Love”, a solo exhibition of new works by Tracey Emin, CBE, including painting, bronze sculptures, neon, embroidery, and works on paper. Emin’s practice is the result of an intense process of self-discovery in which she transforms her profound and personal anecdotes into universal narratives. The artist will be present for an opening reception at the gallery at 536 West 22nd Street on Thursday, May 5, from 6-8PM.
The title of the exhibition, Stone Love, comes from the first line of David Bowie’s song Soul Love, which explores notions of romantic, physical, and familial love. Speaking about this body of work, Emin has said: “[It] is about love and the reflection of love; the desire to melt into the image of someone else, the fantasy of love. There are many different kinds of ways of loving, but as humans we are restricted to the purely physical and never have the confidence to leap into other worlds.” As in her other bodies of work, here she explores metaphysical notions of love and seeks to understand different forms of intimacy.
Though Emin has historically been regarded for her use of various media within a conceptual framework, her new body of work represents a pronounced return to painting. A modern day Expressionist continuing in the tradition of painters like Egon Schiele and Francis Bacon, Emin uncovers personal narratives in self-reflective paintings that examine both the emotional and physical states of human relationships. In creating paintings, Emin upholds the timeless legacy of figurative artworks, often modeled on her own body or on historical photographs, while developing a pictorial language and style that distinguishes her within this genre.
Emin views her bronzes as three-dimensional approaches to drawing. In emotionally and physically charged sculptures, the artist often depicts a lone, softly mottled figure. But in Stone Love, Emin also includes a sculpture of a couple as she continues to explore the frontiers of interpersonal relationships. In her neon works, which the artist regards as “missives,” she renders wistful phrases in her own handwriting. Emin, also a prolific writer, views the texts she composes for her neons as more akin to drawing, the quality of the line unique to each work. That the phrases are reproduced in Emin’s own script lends the work an urgency and sincerity. Together, the paintings, bronze sculptures, neons, embroideries, and works on paper in Stone Love frame Emin as a classical artist on a perennial journey into the self within the context of intimate and personal relationships.