From Flaubert to Spinoza: Tracey Emin’s “Curated Shelf”

Tracey Emin’s most provocative creations -like Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995 or My Bed- might have come directly from intimate experiences, but the British artist’s work can also be quite cerebral, influenced by literature and philosophy. In “The Curated Shelf”, a temporary exhibition shown at the new Louis Vuitton store, the famous Royal Academician reveals a display of books that have contributed to her work: surprising.
Photo: Jamie McGregor Smith © Louis Vuitton

After Marc Quinn last May, Tracey Emin (47) is the second artist chosen to create a “Curated Shelf”, a series of temporary exhibits shown at the new Louis Vuitton store in Bond Street where the customer can engage with the mind of the artist through the books that have contributed to their work, their thinking or their persona.

Rather surprisingly for someone whose most famous work is a dirty bed littered with condoms, Tracey Emin’s selection includes romantic novels such as Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, as well as French classic Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and Ethics by Spinoza (a reminder maybe that she briefly studied philosophy).

The exhibition takes place in the “Librairie”, specialised in contemporary art books. This cultural concept store is located in the first floor of the new Louis Vuitton “Maison” in Bond Street, the brand’s most most luxurious store to date, which opened last May.


“The Curated Shelf” by Tracey Emin: Louis Vuitton Maison, 17-20 New Bond Street W1 (Bond Street), until 30 November 2010