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Work of the Week

Tracey Emin

The Wick - Tracey Emin, I Lay Here For You, 2022

Discover Tracey Emin, I Lay Here For You, 2022

Tracey Emin, I Lay Here For You, 2022

Currently installed in an old-growth beech grove in Jupiter Artland’s informal woodland is Tracey Emin’s I Lay Here For You (2022). The six-metre bronze depicts a nude woman, face burrowed into the ground, posterior raised. She avoids eye contact and is wholly content in her own company. This monumental celebration of sexual intimacy is part of an exhibition of new works made in the wake of Emin’s recovery from bladder cancer that reflect on the possibility of love after hardship. As with much of the artist’s work, it explores the tension between fragility, hope, sexuality and vulnerability, prompting the viewer to reconsider woman’s place in nature.

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The Wick - Gustav Klimt, The Virgin, 1913

Dream Gustav Klimt, The Virgin, 1913

The femme fatale dominates the art of Gustav Klimt, the fin-de-siècle Viennese painter also known for his use of gold, brilliant colour and decorative patterns. This painting, however, depicts a young virgin sleeping peacefully under a blanket with pretty flowers and spirals. At first glance, it’s a picture of innocence. But a closer look will reveal Klimt’s frank eroticism: the girl is in fact dreaming about her sexual awakening, which involves six naked women. Executed in 1913, at the height of Klimt’s fame, it celebrates female sexuality, desire and pleasure in a bold embrace of la vie moderne.
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The Wick - Slim Aarons, Sea Drive, 1967

Discover Slim Aarons, Sea Drive, 1967

Rising to prominence in the 1950s, Slim Aarons famously described his photographs as ‘attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places’ — and this glorious snapshot is no exception. A window into a bygone era of Hollywood glamour and charisma, it shows film producer Kevin McClory and his family taking a sea drive in an Amphicar across the harbour at Nassau in the Bahamas in 1967. It has all the hallmarks of a signature Aarons: striking location, jet-setting celebrities and a certain nonchalant quality that transports you in time and place. What could be more escapist?
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The Wick - The Boy with the Big Fish, 2016
Amy Sherald

Discover Amy Sherald, The Boy with the Big Fish, 2016

American painter Amy Sherald’s bold portraits are visually arresting and culturally significant in equal parts. Not only is the Georgia-born, Baltimore-based artist the first woman and first African-American to ever receive the grand prize in the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C, but in 2018 she was selected by First Lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the official commission from that same gallery. While her warm, startling portrait of the First Lady may have shot Sherald to fame, her colourful portraits of anonymous African American figures are equally intriguing.

In each of Sherald’s portraits, a contemporary African American figure fixes their gaze on the viewer, posed against a different wash of colour — a cornflower yellow, crimson red or, as in this case, a textured green. It’s realism through Sherald’s lens, and the simplicity of the canvas at first look belies the subtle nuances that you uncover once you spend more time studying the portrait. Sherald invites the viewer to invest in that viewing time, and in the process, discover hints of the individual’s personality, mood and character in the details of their expression. The portraits in themselves are a radical act, creating a way for African American subjects to occupy space in a format that has traditionally been preserved for the White and privileged.
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The Wick - Milton Avery, Two Figures on Beach, 1950.

Discover Milton Avery, Two Figures on a Beach, 1950

Milton Avery’s luminous paintings are characterised by bold colours and flat shapes. ‘I do not use linear perspective,’ he once said, ‘but achieve depth by color.’ Born in Upstate New York in 1885, Avery straddled American Impressionism and Abstract Expressionism — though he identified with neither movement — and drew inspiration from European Modernism, particularly Matisse and Cézanne, who prioritised colour in their compositions.

Over the course of his prolific career, he painted everything from landscapes and seascapes to the city, domestic life and portraits. In his late work, he favoured non-associative colours in his compositions and a pared-back subject matter. Two Figures on Beach is one such brilliant example. Executed in 1950, it shows the modernist flattening, colour sensibility and simplified forms, for which he became celebrated.
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The Wick - Martin Parr, Herne Bay, Kent, 1963

Dream Martin Parr, Herne Bay, Kent, 1963

Martin Parr has photographed Britain’s beaches for more than 50 years. During that time, he has developed a knack for cataloguing the nuances and peculiarities of life by the sea, from children eating ice cream to couples basking in the sun. For Parr, the draw of the seaside is the diversity of material to photograph. ‘Every nation’s different attitude is represented,’ he once said. ‘You can see all the traits exemplified on the beach.’ Taken in Herne Bay in Kent in 1963, this black-and-white photograph brilliantly captures the fun-loving hedonism of the Swinging Sixties. Clad in nothing but a slinky white bikini, the woman lights a cigarette. Is she perturbed by her fully clothed onlookers? Absolutely not.
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The Wick - Honor Titus, Trophy Position, 2021

Discover Honor Titus, Trophy Position, 2021

Honor Titus is one of the art world’s most buzzed-about painters. After fronting the Brooklyn punk-rock band Cerebral Ballzy and working as a studio assistant for Raymond Pettibon, he turned to painting, developing a unique style inspired by Les Nabis, a group of 19th century French painters who eschewed linear perspective in favour of flat planes of colour and decorative patterns.

In January 2020 he had a breakthrough show at Henry Taylor’s downtown LA studio and a year later his first solo show at Timothy Taylor gallery in New York. It sold out a week before opening, with critics hailing him as a rising star. Suffused with a sense of romance and nostalgia, Titus’s paintings depict leisure activities and fragmented street scenes conjured from his lived experiences and memories.

Trophy Position (2021) shows a woman measuring her serve up against an old-timey net. Is it match point? As with many of Titus’s paintings, we’re left to interpret the narrative. It is one of many sporting pictures Titus has painted over the last few years. ‘Athletics are often filled with such ritual, whether it be sartorial or domain, that I find it quite rich for inspiration,’ he once said.
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The Wick - Jawahar Anshur
100 Heads
Marc Quinn

Discover 100 Heads, Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn is renowned for his frank, visceral sculptures that explore what it means to be human today. Since finding fame in the 1990s with Self, a self-portrait cast from his own frozen blood, he’s made art from plastic bin bags and slides of human DNA — and even cast a sculpture of Kate Moss in 18 carat gold.

His ambitious new work 100 Heads comprises 100 portrait busts of refugees, cast in concrete from an initial 3D scan of the sitter. Each plinth is inscribed with the sitter’s name, birthplace, current residence and short message which challenges the perception of refugees as unidentifiable masses.

The sale proceeds from each sculpture will support the creation of Our Blood, Quinn’s not-for-profit project comprising two identical cubes of frozen human blood (one will be made from refugee donations, the other from non-refugee donations) which will launch at the New York Public Library in 2023. The project aims to raise awareness around the international refugee crisis, while also raising funds for refugee charities, including the International Rescue Committee.
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The Wick - The Sun, 1909, Edvard Munch

Discover The Sun, Edvard Munch

Born in Norway in 1863, Edvard Munch is best known for sombre works — from paintings and watercolours to drawings and lithographs — that explore matters of human mortality, anxiety and emotional suffering. But he also produced paintings of nature, recreation and long summer days by the sea, suffused with luminous light and vibrant colours. After suffering a nervous breakdown in 1908, Munch returned to Norway to lead a quiet life, finding inspiration in the landscape, farm labourers and animals around him. Created for the University of Oslo’s new ceremonial hall (Aula), The Sun (1909) depicts a glowing sunrise over the rocky archipelago off Kragerø. Not only does it reflect Munch’s newly optimistic outlook but also his interest in nature and Vitalism, a school of thought that promoted health and hygiene and emphasized the sun as an energy-giving source.
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The Wick - Yayoi Kusama

Dream Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama has become synonymous with dots, infinity nets and pumpkins. Since coming to prominence in New York in the 1960s, she has expanded her creative practice to include installation, painting, sculpture, fashion design and writing. The obliteration room, which opens at Tate Modern on 23 July, reflects her enduring obsession with repetition, obliteration and interactivity. Originally conceived as a project for children by the Queensland Art Gallery in 2002, it consists of a white space, fully furnished with white furniture. Visitors are invited to cover every available surface with colourful dot stickers, transforming the room from a blank canvas into an explosion of colour.
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