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  • Tracey Emin, Death Mask. Copyright Tracey Emin.
Tue 25 Jun - Sun 8 Sep 2019

Tracey Emin was born in London in 1963. She famously spent her childhood and teenage years in Margate and her formative experiences here have provided the inspiration for much of her later work

Death Mask is Tracey Emin’s first sculptural work in bronze. In an ironic reference to the autobiographical nature of her work, she has cast her own ‘death mask’ during her lifetime.

The sculpture reflects her preoccupation with self-disclosure and her constant engagement with and exploration of her own life and body. Emin has commented that in this work she offers herself in perpetuity as a museum display, transforming herself into an object for the scrutiny of generations to come.

Tracey Emin studied at Maidstone College of Art (1986–8) and the Royal College of Art (1987–9). Her work discloses the intimate details of her life across a range of media. Notable works include Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 (1995), shown at the Sensation exhibition (Royal Academy, 1997), and My Bed (1998). Emin represented Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and was elected a Royal Academician in the same year. She was awarded a CBE in 2012.

Tracey Emin's Death Mask is part of COMING HOME, an exciting project which sees the National Portrait Gallery sending portraits of iconic individuals to places they are closely associated with. This country-wide initiative will enable fifty portraits from the national Collection to travel to towns and cities across the UK, providing venues and communities with the opportunity to celebrate their local heroes.


COMING HOME has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, generous contributions from The Thompson Family Charitable Trust and funds raised at the Gallery’s Portrait Gala in 2017.