Tracey Emin
It's Different When You Are in Love

Nov. 4, 2023 - Feb. 18, 2024

Tracey Emin, It’s different when you Are in Love
2016, 93.9 x 300 cm, neon, Installationsansicht, Foto: Volker Crone
Tracey Emin, It’s different when you Are in Love 2016, 93.9 x 300 cm, neon, Installation view, Photo: Volker Crone

Neon is emotional for everybody... That’s why neon is at fun fairs, casinos, red light districts and bars. It’s also to do with the way it electronically pulsates around the glass, it creates a feel-good factor. Neon can help people who suffer from depression.

*Tracey Emin, 2014

Tracey Emin created her first neon artworks in the 1990s, which were characterized by the translation of her own handwriting alongside personal statements into illuminated glass tubes. Each of her neon works contains her unique handwriting throughout, reminiscent of private notes or scribbles in the margins of a sketchbook. When translated into a luminous industrial symbol, the poetic message conveyed gains meaning and illuminates an individual yet universal critical voice.

It's different when you're in love (2016) is an example of Emin's numerous and iconic neon’s. The artist captures the emotional nuance of cryptic yet evocative phrases to reveal their universal resonance. Emin sees her neon signs as communiqués—fleeting moments that can be taken as haunting and existential thoughts intended for strangers. The artist's illuminated texts provide intimate as well as insightful perspectives on her individual traumas and experiences. For the façade of the Kestner Gesellschaft, the aqua blue installation titled It's different when you're in love was specifically loaned from the artist.

Direct, unfiltered and forceful, Tracey Emin's work explores fundamental human experiences such as femininity, love, longing, loss and grief. Equally disarming and shamelessly emotionally charged, these themes are the source of her inspiration.

Tracey Emin, born in London in 1963, currently lives and works between London, the South of France and Margate, UK. Emin is a British artist known for her autobiographical works. She came to prominence in the 1990s as a member of the Young British Artists (YBAs), a loose group of visual artists who first exhibited together in 1988. Over the years, Emin has participated in numerous important international group and solo exhibitions at renowned institutions. In 2007, she represented Great Britain at the 52nd Venice Biennale. She was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy of Arts in 2011 and was made a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2012. While dealing with her own illness - she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2020 - Emin's work continues to evolve, reflecting both the intensity and fragility of human life.

Learn more about Tracey Emin in the exhibition handout .

Installation Images

Tracey Emin, It’s different when you Are in Love 2016, Installation view, Photo: Volker Crone

Visit us

Goseriede 11, 30159 Hannover

Patrons / Partners

We thank our patrons for the support of this exhibition.


Subscribe to our newsletter! We will inform you regularly about our exhibitions, events and digital offers.