Controversial British artist Tracey Emin is to become the new Professor of Drawing at London’s prestigious Royal Academy, the country’s oldest art school, reports said Wednesday.
The General Assembly of Royal Academicians (RAs) — an illustrious club of sculptors, architects, printmakers and painters — made the decision on Thursday, the Times reported, but a formal announcement has yet to take place.
The appointment of the 48-year-old artist, best known for an installation of her unmade bed and for a tent embroidered with the names of everyone she has ever slept with, has split opinion.
Figurative painter Diana Armfield told the paper she had seen what "I suppose are drawings" by Emin, but that she "wouldn’t have thought that her talents were that way."
Past pupils of the Royal Academy Schools include William Turner, John Constable and William Blake.
Tate Galleries director Nicholas Serota backed the decision, saying: "There will be a lot of people who say, ‘What a lousy idea, she doesn’t stand for classical drawing’, but I think it’s a great appointment.
"Drawing is the foundation for everything she does and I think it’s the thing for which she is most recognized internationally as well," he told the Times.
Emin was brought up in Margate, southeast England, and earned a master’s degree at the Royal College of Art.
She shot to fame in the 1990s as one of the leading members of the Young British Artists movement and recently exhibited her biggest career retrospective at London’s Hayward Gallery.