The Loneliness of the Soul, organised by the Munch Museum in Norway in partnership with the Royal Academy, puts Emin’s work – she selected Munch’s pieces for the exhibition with curator Kari J Brandtzaeg – in direct conversation with that of her 'fellow lost soul' and kindred spirit. The result is powerful to say the least; prepare yourself for a heart-wrenching experience.
Emin uses her body as a battlefield to express her life trauma: legs splayed apart, bloodstained strokes, the outline of a crouching female figure either disappearing or emerging. The expressionism of her paintings convey a range of emotions – passion, salvation, grief, suffering, vulnerability – that are central to Munch’s art, and more specifically in this exhibition, to his paintings of troubled women.
The parallels between the two artists is at times uncanny. Perhaps it is not so much the arts on display, but Emin’s veneration for Munch (could she see in him a much desired father figure?) that makes this exhibition such a poignant testament of her fragility.
One of Emin's earliest artistic references to Munch came in 1998 with a piece titled HOMAGE TO EDVARD MUNCH AND ALL MY DEAD CHILDREN. The work includes a video of Emin naked and curled up on the jetty at the edge of the Oslo Fjord in Asgardstrand, the location that inspired Munch's best-known masterpiece 'The Scream'. The video can be seen at the White Cube Mason’s Yard, which is also currently holding an exhibition of Tracey Emin's work.
|What||Tracey Emin/ Edvard Munch exhibition, Royal Academy|
|Where||Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Green Park (underground)|
18 May 21 – 30 May 21, Open daily, 11am – 5pm
|Website||Click here for more information|