Tracey Emin curates From the Cute to the Powerful, a Paddle8 auction of the artists that have inspired her, the artists she collects and admires, and her own work
Featuring works by Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Cindy Sherman, Polly Morgan, Peter Blake, Mat Collishaw, and Jenny Holzer, among others
Paddle8 is honored to present From the Cute to the Powerful, an auction curated by Tracey Emin, the art world provocateur who emerged as a seminal figure in the YBA movement and has continued to achieve renown for her singular vision and engagement with materials. For this auction, Emin has personally selected works that provide a rare and revealing view into her world, featuring artists to whom she’s close—either by way of inspiration, collaboration, or admiration—alongside her own work.
In addition to iconic and never-before-seen pieces by Emin, artists in the sale include Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Cindy Sherman, Polly Morgan, Peter Blake, Anne Austin Pearce, Sebastian Stöhrer, Harry Weller, Abigail Lane, Joe Walsh, Markus Kartiess, Klara Kristalova, Harland Miller, and Jenny Holzer. The resulting selection confronts the personal, sexual, feminine, and raw head on, with accents of sweetness and humor throughout. Like Emin’s own work, many of the works deal intimately with personal biography, the intersection of text and image, and the body.
All proceeds from the sale of two works by Emin—the 2012 neon work The Heart Has its Reasons (estimate $90,000–$100,000) and 2013 monoprint I Dream of Kissing You Over Again ($13,000–$15,000)—will benefit the Serpentine Trust, which is responsible for running the Serpentine Gallery and the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, whose mission is to promote and further the understanding of art.
Highlights of Tracey Emin: From the Cute to the Powerful include:
Works by artists who have long influenced Emin as they explore themes of relationships, the body, and quotidian experience, including:
Andy Warhol Cat Drawing, 1994. Graphite on paper. Estimate $45,000 – $55,000. A playful drawing of a cat underfoot, created during the period when Warhol lived with his mother in a Carnegie Hill townhouse surrounded by cats, all of whom were named Sam, with the exception of one named Hester.
Louise Bourgeois The White Cat (Champ Fleury), 1994. Dry point, etching and aquatint on paper. Estimate $7,000 – $9,000. An etching featuring a cat, which Bourgeois repeatedly revisited as a subject, recalling the trauma of her childhood experiences, in which she remembers her parents “fighting like cat and dog”.
Jenny Holzer Use What is Dominant, 2003. Limited-edition glass bowl. Estimate $2,000 – $3,000. A glass bowl in the shape of a breast, embossed with one of Holzer’s provocative statements, which are inspired by the texts of political theorists, religious fantasies and impassioned folk literature to examine emotional and societal realities.
Seminal works by Emin, which encapsulate her highly personal approach to revealing intimate hopes, aspirations and vulnerabilities, including:
Tracey Emin Its What I'd Like to Be, 1999. Blue Neon. Estimate $100,000 – $125,000. An important example of Emin’s neon sculptures, based on her iconic 1998 monoprint of a deer, which drew upon her childhood nickname of “Dolly Bambie.” Like many of Emin’s neons, this piece combines text and image.
Tracey Emin Escape Through My Mind, 2011. Monoprint on paper. Estimate $15,000 – $20,000. A sterling example of Emin’s personal monoprints, which integrate the artist’s life and work in a diaristic capacity, revealing deeply intimate images that retain the spontaneity of a drawing.
Tracey Emin in collaboration with Louise Bourgeois I Just Died at Birth, From the Suite: Do Not Abandon Me,Archival dyes on printed cloth. Estimate: $15,000–$20,000. An extraordinary collaboration between Emin and her creative heroine, Bourgeois, that explores an intergenerational dialogue on feminism and the female body. A silhouette of a pregnant figure drawn by Bourgeois was later amended by Emin, who inscribed religious and personal dialogue within the cavity of the form. Though created by two different hands, the superimposed efforts read with singular consistency.
Works by artists in Emin’s creative orbit, illustrating the path of inspiration as well as her many guises as friend, collector, and muse, including:
Tim Noble & Sue Webster fuckingbeautiful (working drawing), 2000–2014. Pencil on paper. Estimate $7,500 – $9,500. A work by Emin’s close friends Noble & Webster, whose practice explores the glamorous and abject aspects of contemporary life and culture. In this drawing, Noble & Webster scribbled the words “fucking beautiful” in the form of a heart.
Mat Collishaw Burning Butterflies, 2013. C-print. Estimate $4,500 – $5,500. A work by Emin’s longtime friend Collishaw that brings to light the cycle of life and death in the format of a classical still life, exploring the dark and the morbid with a romanticism derived from the Old Masters.
Polly Morgan Great Tit, 2012. CCremated bird remains, taxidermy. Estimate $6,000 – $8,000. Polly Morgan—whose work Emin collects—uses taxidermy to create disturbing, grotesque and oddly beautiful sculptures, in this case using cremated bird remains to create a drawing of a bird nest, with a taxidermy bird resting upon the corner of the frame. The work pays homage to 17th-century Dutch still-lifes and gothic Victoriana, while engaging with objects and materials that point toward the messy exuberance of the contemporary world.
Bidding is available from November 4 through November 13 at paddle8.com/traceyemin.
About Tracey Emin
Tracey Emin (b. 1963, works in London) makes work in a wide range of media including painting, drawing, film, photography, sewn appliqué, sculpture and neon text. Her art is primarily expressionistic, a cypher for memories and emotions that can be frank and poetic, intimate and universal. Using her own experience—and frequently her own body—as source material for the work, she explores ideas of self-portraiture and narrative disclosure, both intimately bound up with her own biography.
In 2007, Emin represented Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale and was made a Royal Academician. In 2008 Emin had her first major retrospective t the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh which toured to CAC, Malaga (2008) and Kunstmuseum Bern (2009). Emin had a major survey exhibition at the Hayward Gallery (2011) and a solo exhibition at Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012). A touring exhibition of her films was organised by MALBA, Buenos Aires (2012). In 2011 she became the Royal Academy's Professor of Drawing.
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