Constantly on the verge of voyeurism and scandal, Tracey Emin is an explorer of this new language. Her art is a cry generated by a difficulty of sharing her ego. She is a professional artist who has reinterpreted former masters whose work is an offshoot of flesh more than of brain or hand : Munch's scream on the road to asylum, twisted bodies by Schiele and dances of nudes around Klein.
In 1990, Tracey Emin considers her inability to express herself through painting which she stops using and supersedes with various materials that will make her fame: textiles, ready mades, neon, furniture. This bold approach is acknowledged as she is now a professor at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Executed in 1996, Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made is a significant step in her career in the next year after the completion of Everyone I have ever slept with, which was still unexhibited. This installation is a struggle of the artist to overcome both the failure of traditional figuration and some reluctance to her own nakedness.
For three weeks, the artist worked naked in a locked room of a gallery in Stockholm. She was visible to the public but not disturbed, through eyelets embedded in a wall. The threat, that will not be executed, to burn the work at the end of the happening also aroused media interest.
The first piece is her actual exorcism: a self-portrait as Munch screamer. The use of her body as a Klein brush-woman is performed repeatedly. The final work consists of 12 paintings, 7 body paintings, 79 works on paper, a bed and countless everyday artefacts.
Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made is estimated £ 600K, for sale by Christie's in London on February 11, lot 24.