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Further Back To You

Further Back To You
Signed Print

Tracey Emin

Etching, 2014
Signed Print Edition of 150

Critical Review

Further Back To You was produced by the artist on the occasion of her solo exhibition The Last Great Adventure is You, held at White Cube, London, from October to November 2014. The print is strikingly similar to In My Mind II, the drawing Emin produced for the exhibition, in that both take as their subjects a reclined female nude. The edges of the image are smudged, and her head is purposefully concealed to the viewer, whilst the outlines of her figure are unfinished towards the edges. The image appears as immediate and direct, as well as intimate. After all, Emin gained prominence precisely thanks to the visceral quality of her works, which has come to characterise hers as an “art of disclosure”.

The female nude, oftentimes a self-portrait of the artist, has occupied Emin’s mind and oeuvre more than any other subject, as evident in her Nude Self-Portraits and Nude Drawings. For the artist, the nude represents an opportunity of self-discovery and reflection, of laying bare her own self on paper, as well as a means to speak of female subjectivity. In Further Back To You, Emin presents to the viewer a solitary woman in her bed, possibly waiting for someone who will never arrive. In the artist’s words, the title of the exhibition was meant originally to reference the “other person”, who her figures insistently await. However, throughout the years in which she put together the exhibition, Emin eventually realised that there was no one, and that “we are always alone”. While melancholic in tone, this work is also an invitation to remember to always come back to oneself first.