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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Emin art show planned for Venice
Tracey Emin
Emin began her career as a painter but is better known for other work
Artist Tracey Emin is to represent Britain at the world's longest-running international art exhibition.

The British Council has chosen the controversial artist to produce a show of new work for the British Pavilion at next year's 52nd Venice Biennale.

The council's Andrea Rose called 43-year-old Emin "a storyteller with an extraordinary ability to scratch away the surfaces to what lies below".

Emin's My Bed, a stained, unmade bed, earned a 1999 Turner Prize nomination.

She will be the second woman to produce a solo show for the UK at the Venice Biennale, following Rachel Whiteread in 1997.

Ms Rose, commissioner for the British Pavilion, said the exhibition would allow Emin's work to be viewed "in an international context and at a distance from the YBA [Young British Artists] generation with which she came to prominence".

Emin said: "I'm thrilled - it's a great honour and fantastic challenge."

Kent-born Emin has become one of Britain's most high-profile artists with work that has been extremely autobiographical and highly controversial.

While some critics have hailed her as an outstanding artist who speaks with unique intensity, she has also been disparaged as a self-publicist.

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