The 10 Most Memorable Artist Collaborations

For her contribution to the Manchester International Festival, Tracey Emin has announced plans for a collaboration with Louise Bourgeois, who she describes as her “hero” in a recent Guardian op-ed. To get past the hurdle of Bourgeois no longer being alive, Emin will employ a close reading of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s 2004 tome Do It, in which 165 venerated artists provided instructions on how to reproduce their work. Even though the results will fit the definition of collaboration narrowly — a far cry from the genuine two-woman jobs that Hauser & Wirth exhibited in 2011 —  the idea of seeing both minds at work is intriguing, and, given the tone of Emin’s op-ed, pretty damn poignant.

Robert Mapplethorpe, photograph of Louise Bourgeois, 1982
Robert Mapplethorpe, photograph of Louise Bourgeois, 1982

[Image via ClaireBarliant.com]

Anyone who has seen the box office revenue of the Expendables franchise knows the powerful draw of the supergroup. Fans of either sculptor A, painter B, installation artist X, animator Y, or any combination of the four are bound to show their support when given the chance to see those artists together. The moment of collaboration is treated like a summit, and the final product is bound to remain in the long-term canon of either artist, even if it lacks any real intellectual or aesthetic bite when examined closely. Here are a few more examples that memorably hit or missed the mark.