Continuing our In Focus series, this free exhibition compares important works from the Tate collection, demonstrating a shared concern with birth, death and spirituality in both artists’ work.
At the heart is one of Britain’s most renowned artworks of the past 20 years, Tracey Emin’s (b.1963) My Bed 1998. This will be the first time My Bed has been displayed in the north of England. Featuring Emin’s own bed, it offers an unflinching self-portrait in which the artist herself is absent.
My Bed, along with drawings by Emin from the Tate collection, will be shown alongside those of the visionary British poet and artist, William Blake (1757–1827). Presented in the context of Emin’s empty bed, and symbolising the absent figure, highlights include Pity c.1975 and The Crucifixion: ‘Behold Thy Mother’ c.1805.
Blake stood against the hypocrisies of his age championing liberalism, sexual freedoms and above all freedom of expression. This new display affirms Blake’s Romantic idea of artistic truth through existential pain and the possibility of spiritual rebirth through art, shared in the work of Tracey Emin.
If you like Emin ...
Learn about the artist
Tracey Emin writes about the comparison between her work and Frida Kahlo’s
Read about why Tate brought works by Tracey Emin and Francis Bacon together
In this article, Melanie McGrath contemplates Emin’s value as an artist
Peter Blake talks to Tracey Emin
Tracey takes on Venice at the British Pavilion
If you like Blake ...
Discover the role of artistic halluncination in the art of Blake and others
Artist, musician and writer Hassan Khan discusses Blake’s The Ghost of a Flea
Tate Research explores the high ambition and disastrous failure of Blake’s 1809 London exhibition
Graphic novelist, Alan Moore, talks about Blake’s legendary painting
Take a look at the relationship between comic books and art
One of our curator’s reflects on Blake’s career and his most famous painting