Artist: Tracey Emin
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami
Exhibition Title: Angel Without You
Curated by: Bonnie Clearwater
Date: December 4 – March 9, 2014
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami. Photos by Daniel Portnoy.
North Miami, FL, December 3, 2013 – The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami kicks off Art Basel Miami Beach 2013 with the opening of Tracey Emin: Angel without You, the first American museum exhibition dedicated to the acclaimed British artist Tracey Emin. On view from December 4, 2013 through March 9, 2014, Tracey Emin: Angel without You is the first-ever exhibition to focus on Emin’s use of neon, an important material in her practice, beginning with her iconic The Tracey Emin Museum (1995), which opens the show. The exhibition explores how Emin’s neons played an essential role in the development of her work, marking a shift from her early diaristic and confessional style to a more cryptic, multifaceted form of expression. Organized by MOCA as part of the Knight Exhibition Series, Tracey Emin: Angel without You comprises more than 60 works that span the past two decades. The exhibition title is drawn from a new large-scale neon work Emin has created in MOCA’s courtyard for the exhibition.
Tracey Emin: Angel without You reflects the artist’s longstanding relationship with MOCA, which became the first American museum to purchase one of Emin’s works when it acquired her seminal film Why I Never Became a Dancer in 1998. The film—which depicts scenes of Emin’s childhood home of Margate, replete with vintage neon signs—explores the story of Emin’s own tumultuous adolescence and loss of innocence, is included in the exhibition. In 2013, Emin created and put to auction five new neon works, which raised $185,000 in support of the museum’s programming.
Angel without You features several of Emin’s most notable neon works, such as Sorry Flowers Die (1999) and I can feel your smile (2005). Many of these works consist of epigrams that have been transcribed into neon from Emin’s own handwriting by neon studios working under the artist’s
supervision. MOCA’s exhibition examines the importance of writing and calligraphic line in Emin’s free-floating neon works.
“As a towering figure in Britain’s contemporary art community—and arguably one of the most significant female artists of her generation—Tracey Emin is long overdue for a solo museum exhibition in the United States,” said the exhibition’s curator, former MOCA director Bonnie Clearwater. “Tracey Emin: Angel without You marks an unprecedented exploration of Tracey’s neon sculptures—a medium that is not only appropriate to the neon-rich cityscape of South Florida, but has its origins in Emin’s hometown as captured in the film Why I Never Became a Dancer.”
“After helping to introduce Tracey Emin to US audiences with our acquisition of Why I Never Became a Dancer, MOCA is thrilled to welcome Tracey back to Miami for her American solo museum debut,” said MOCA’s interim director and chief curator Alex Gartenfeld. “This exhibition advances MOCA’s longstanding commitment to showcasing the leading voices in contemporary art, especially internationally established and emerging artists who have been under-recognized in the United States.”
Emin’s works are frequently inspired by the subject of love and the artist’s search for it and are highly regarded for the universality of the poignant and painful complexity their messages convey. Emin often substitutes pronouns for individual names in such works as Love is What You Want (2011) or You Forgot to Kiss My Soul (2001), so that the phrases can be read as an instance of Emin addressing herself, her viewer, her lover, or even God. Others, such as Emin’s 2012 Nothing is Real, are figurative sculpture created from contiguous neon tubing.
Exhibition Organization and Credits
Tracey Emin: Angel without You is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami and curated by Bonnie Clearwater.
The exhibition was generously made possible by an endowment to MOCA established by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Sponsored by: Phillips, Ethel & W. George Kennedy Family Foundation, Inc. in Memory of Martin Nash, and David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Funding Arts Network.
Exhibitions at MOCA are made possible through grants from the City of North Miami. Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts. With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is a recipient of the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.