The images offer, not a story, but an experience that begins in visceral uneasiness and gradually shifts to a haunted serenity. The discomfort is complicated. It is triggered partly by our sense of the instantaneous monstrosity of a normal human transformed by the spreading of the shape beyond what we understood as normal.
—Katherine Dunn, from the exhibition catalogue
Gagosian is pleased to present the photographic series Closed Contact (1995–96). This collaboration between painter Jenny Saville and fashion photographer/filmmaker Glen Luchford confronts and challenges conceived notions of feminine beauty. The collusion of the art and fashion worlds has produced many hybrids in recent years, yet none perhaps as intensely striking as this series. In this body of work, the artists have created a new form of self-portraiture, using Saville as the model.
After observing operations of reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, Saville was eager to express the violence and anesthetized pain of this experience in her own work. Luchford and Saville began an artistic collaboration that captures the full range of color, tonality, and topography of live flesh in large photographic tableaux. Distortions confront and coerce the viewer into an examination of one’s own body and the grotesqueries and beauties inherent within. The images also recall biological specimens preserved, disembodied, and disfigured.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by acclaimed writer Katherine Dunn. A limited edition that will include a photographic print in a specially designed Plexiglas case will also be available.
From the Quarterly
Jenny Saville Ancestors
In this video, Jenny Saville speaks about Ancestors and her new works currently on view at Gagosian, West 21st Street, New York.
Jenny Saville and Dr. Simon Groom
Jenny Saville discusses the beginnings and evolutions of her painting practice with Dr. Simon Groom, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. She speaks candidly on her endless passion for painting the figure, the beauty of struggle, motherhood, and the artists that have inspired her.
Jenny Saville on Willem de Kooning
In 2013, the exhibition Willem de Kooning: Ten Paintings, 1983–1985 explored the legendary artist’s late work. For the catalogue accompanying the presentation, Jenny Saville spoke on the gestures and elemental elegance of these paintings.
Diana Widmaier Picasso, curator of the exhibition Desire, reflects on the history of eroticism in art.
Jenny Saville: Erota
Richard Calvocoressi discusses the inspiration behind the artist’s new body of work.
Egon Schiele—Jenny Saville
Lauren Mahony previews the Kunsthaus Zürich exhibition, which paired the works of Jenny Saville and Egon Schiele together.
Extended through July 23, 2018
May 3–July 23, 2018
West 21st Street, New York
Extended through November 19, 2016
From Modigliani to Currin
September 20–November 19, 2016
980 Madison Avenue, New York
Extended through July 9, 2016
April 14–July 9, 2016
Davies Street, London
June 13–July 26, 2014
Britannia Street, London