Go See – New York: Tracey Emin ‘Only God Knows I’m Good’ at Lehmann Maupin through December 19, 2009

November 19th, 2009

Installation Still from “Only God Knows I’m Good” (via Lehmann Maupin)

Lehmann Maupin Gallery has opened a new solo show by British artist Tracey Emin at their Lower East Side location. Emin, most notorious for her 2005 work “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963 – 1995″ deals primarily with issues of lust, dreams, and the alienation of sex.

The media in “God Only Knows I’m Good” is varied: the artist employs embroideries, video, monoprints, sculptures, and neons. The embroideries encompass most of the show: sexed-out figures reminiscent of Egon Schiele’s awkward nudes writhe across large-scale canvases made from blankets. A plethora of small drawings also populate the gallery, inviting a more intimate viewer relationship. Tongue-in-cheek texts accompanying these figures offer either a shock of revulsion or a dark humor. “I can’t feel,” the women say, as they fondle themselves. “Every fucking time,” reads another. Both acutely personal and universal, Emin insists the women in her portraits are not directly autobiographical, but rather symbolic of prurience and loneliness. Her use of rudimentary spelling and a shaky line also imbue the work with a kind of disturbing naïveté, given the strong content of the imagery.

In a strange nod to heroic equestrian portraits, one large-scale embroidery depicts a man riding a cow-like figure up a set of stairs, the text reading “Why be afraid when I will be the one who carry’s you to Heaven.” The artist’s use of embroidery, traditionally a woman’s past time, raises an interesting dialogue with its subversive content.

Why Be Afraid, 2009, embroidered blanket, 79.92 x 89.76 in. (via Lehmann Maupin)

More images, text and related links after the jump…..

Tracey Emin (b. London, 1963) emerged in the nineties as a member of the Young British Artists group, known for their pugnacious artworks and public persona. Her often autobiographical work explores differing perspectives on femininity, sexuality, longing, and the voyeuristic gaze. She was nominated for the Turner Prize (1999) and represented the UK in the Venice Biennale (2007). She has exhibited internationally in museums and galleries since the nineties.

Installation Still (via Lehmann Maupin)

Installation Still (via Lehmann Maupin)

Nothing Touches, 2009, embroidered cotton, 60.24 x 65.35 in. (via Lehmann Maupin)

Pavement Sitting, 2009, embroidered calico, 60.63 in. x 71.26 in. (via Lehmann Maupin)

No More Mirror, 2009, embroidered cotton, 50.79 x 62.01 in. (via Lehmann Maupin)

Broken World, 2009, embroidered cotton, 16.24 x 20.79 in. (via Lehmann Maupin)

More Nothingness, 2009, monoprint on paper, 8.27 x 11. 65 in. (via Lehmann Maupin)

Related Links:
Exhibition Page

Quite Big in Britain, Not Quite in the US
[NY Times]
Tracey Emin Interview [Art Info]
Recurring Dream [Art Forum]
Tracey Emin’s Show [Purple Diary]
Go See- Tracey Emin’s London Show Summer 2009
The ID Girl
[NY Times]
Quite Big in Britain, Not Quite in the U.S. [NYTimes]