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Jenny Saville

Migrants

April 5–May 3, 2003
West 24th Street, New York

Jenny Saville, Reverse, 2002–03 Oil on canvas, 84 × 96 inches (213.4 × 243.8 cm)

Jenny Saville, Reverse, 2002–03

Oil on canvas, 84 × 96 inches (213.4 × 243.8 cm)

Jenny Saville, Reflective Flesh, 2003 Oil on canvas, 120 ⅛ × 96 1/16 inches (305.1 × 244 cm)

Jenny Saville, Reflective Flesh, 2003

Oil on canvas, 120 ⅛ × 96 1/16 inches (305.1 × 244 cm)

Jenny Saville, Pause, 2002–03 Oil on canvas, 120 × 84 inches (304.8 × 213.4 cm)

Jenny Saville, Pause, 2002–03

Oil on canvas, 120 × 84 inches (304.8 × 213.4 cm)

Jenny Saville, Suspension, 2002–03 Oil on canvas, 115 × 178 inches (292.1 × 452.1 cm)

Jenny Saville, Suspension, 2002–03

Oil on canvas, 115 × 178 inches (292.1 × 452.1 cm)

About

Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of new paintings by Jenny Saville. Migrants will be her first solo exhibition since her show at Gagosian in 1999. Saville has been recognized as one of the most thought-provoking and technically accomplished talents of her generation. She has become known for her monumental paintings of fleshy nudes. In this exhibition, developed over the last two years, Saville further explores the workings of the flesh.

Saville calls herself a “scavenger of images”; she prefers to work from photographs rather than living models. Her studio is a repository of images from old medical journals of bruises, scars, and images of deformities and disease. On a recent visit to her brother’s farm in England, she found and photographed the corpse of a dead pig. Reminiscent of the paintings of Chaim Soutine, the subsequent painting shows its distended stomach splayed across a huge canvas. Saville was drawn to this subject matter because of her interest in the medical world’s use of pig organs for human transplants as well as cloning. With her proficient handling, this potentially revolting subject is disturbing yet glorious.

Also included will be Saville’s first work depicting a subject outside the studio. In it, a half-naked woman, screaming, appears to be running from a building as the hands of an unseen figure restrain her. Horror and trauma blaze across her face. Realized with strong, urgent brushstrokes, this disturbing painting conveys how deeply the artist is influenced by current world events.

The four remaining works in the show include a beautiful, richly worked image of Saville’s head laid on its side. Unlike the previous exhibition, in which her layered palette was mostly pale, ethereal pinks and grays, this new body of work is dominated by bold, bloody colors such as reds, browns, and blues.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Linda Nochlin will accompany the exhibition.

From the Quarterly