Whitechapel Gallery to honour Tracy Emin with Art Icon award

Art Icon Award
Tracey Emin, The Ship, 2019

Whitechapel Gallery has announced that Tracey Emin will be the ninth artist to receive the prestigious annual Art Icon award.

On Monday March 22, 2022, the Art Icon award will be presented at a gala celebration hosted by Director of Whitechapel Gallery, Iwona Blazwick OBE.

Launched in 2014, the Art Icon Award celebrates the work of an artist who has made a profound contribution to a particular medium, influencing their own and subsequent generations of artists.

The event committee includes Dorota Audemars, Erin Bell, Christian Levett, Florence Levett, Luigi Maramotti, Lorcan O’Neill, Irene Panaglopolous, Maria Sukkar and Cheyenne Westphal.

An online auction of artworks donated by leading contemporary artists will also take place in the evening, hosted by Phillips. All funds raised will help support Whitechapel Gallery’s programme, in particular its work with thousands of children and young people each year.

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Iwona Blazwick said: “Our nominating committee was unanimous in wishing to pay tribute to Tracey Emin. Over the past four decades, her work across painting, sculpture, installation, film and photography has both challenged and transformed conceptions of art, gender, health and autonomy; now as one of the most renowned artists of our time, Emin’s impact can be seen globally.

“From contributing to the development of East London and Margate as centres for creativity, to her impact as a Professor at the Royal Academy and efforts further afield with the Tracey Emin Library in Uganda. Her pioneering portrayals of love, loss, happiness and hope will resonate with artists and audiences for years to come.”

Tracey Emin’s expressive and visceral work is renowned for its portrayal of personal experience and heightened states of emotion. Frank and intimate, but universal in its relevance, her practice draws on the fundamental themes of desire and grief, unravelling the constructs of ‘woman’ and ‘self’ through painting, drawing, film, photography, sewn appliqué, sculpture and neon.

Most recently, Emin revealed that she will establish an art school and museum in her seaside hometown of Margate, transforming a former Victorian bathhouse and mortuary into dozens of artists’ studios and a miniature Emin museum. The Tracey Emin Foundation will further provide a sculpture park, artist residencies, lectures and, crucially, a life-drawing club for local children.

For more information, visit whitechapelgallery.org

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