Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Love Is What You Want

Last week I went to check out the Tracy Emin exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London. The exhibition covers every period of her career, revealing facets of the artist and her work that are often overlooked, and features painting, drawing, photography, textiles, video and sculpture, in works that are by turns tough, romantic, desperate, angry, funny and full of longing. Seldom-seen early works and recent large-scale installations are shown together with a new series of outdoor sculptures created especially for the Hayward Gallery. I found the exhibition to be extremely well curated, grabbing your attention immediately with the engaging large-scale textile pieces displayed alongside a full-scale derelict wooden pier titled Knowing my Enemy (2002). Personally I'm a big fan of Emin's work, drawn to her mixture of humor and pathos; she places her own personal experiences at the forefront of her creative output with extreme vulnerability, and yet there's usually a strong sense of irony involved in her work that I find darkly comic and existentially aware at the same time. There is perhaps an over-abundance of material on display, and it may be exhausting to examine everything in detail, but I'm confidant everyone can pick and choose as to how much of the exhibition they consume and enjoy it on their own terms. Love Is What You Want runs until Monday 29 August 2011.

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