Back in 2010, I wrote on painting the human body. One of the artists whose works I included in the post was Jenny Saville. Today I want to present her and her work, as I believe she is one of the most promising artists of today.
Jenny Saville was born in Cambridge in 1970. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1992. Her entire degree show was bought by Charles Saatchi and she later created a new body of work to be displayed in his London gallery.
Like the late Lucian Freud she paints women who are not exactly “thin”. But all likeness to Freud ends here. Saville is a subversive in my view. Her “fat” women undermine the stability of the “normal” society. But one may wonder: is the reason ideological, or is it simply that Saville paints flesh so well that she needs big bodies so that she can paint more and more?
I proceed with Under the skin, an interview of the artist to “The Guardian”. It is an interview that gives an answer to the previous question.
“Jenny Saville’s paintings are known for the mountains of flesh they reveal, but it is the neuroses bursting through that interest her, she tells Suzie Mackenzie.”
Saville is currently exhibiting in the Gagosian Gallery in New York . The title of her exibition is “Continuum”. When Saville exhibited in Gagosian Gallery in New York back in 1999, Roberta Smith of the “New York Times wrote:
“Ms. Saville is 29, and a discovery of the English collector Charles Saatchi. Four of her earlier works are in ”Sensation,” the widely reported exhibition of Mr. Saatchi’s collection of English art now at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Ms. Saville’s general strategy is to exaggerate the age-old artistic obsession with the female nude — reflected in Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt and Ingres, for example — to extremes of imposing wall-like massiveness, where the body’s and the painting’s surface become one.”
Back in the Spring of 2010 Saville exhibited in the Gagosian Gallery of London three drawings.
“Bodies fascinate me. I find having the framework of a body essential. Having flesh as a central subject, I can channel a lot of ideas. “
“Each of the three drawings in this exhibition portrays the intimate relationship between mother and child, inspired in particular by Leonardo da Vinci’s cartoon The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and John the Baptist(National Gallery, London) an atypical scene in which the Virgin contends with a lively Christ-child. ” (Source: Free Art London List)
I conclude this dedication to Jenny Saville with two video clips made in the New York Academy of Art, during the delivery of the 2011 Commencement Address.
2011 Commencement Address (2/2)