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.
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2020
The Winter 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Jenny Saville’s Prism (2020) on its cover.
Jenny Saville: Painting the Self
Jenny Saville speaks with Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, about her latest self-portrait, her studio practice, and the historical painters to whom she continually returns.
Five Preoccupations: Jenny Saville
Jenny Saville shares a selection of the books, films, and more that have been her companions in the quiet of the shutdowns in recent months and as she looks ahead to a new exhibition next year.
Jenny Saville and Nicholas Cullinan
Jenny Saville speaks with Nicholas Cullinan, the director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, from her studio. They discuss portraiture, her latest work, and her art historical influences, as well as the shifting nature of perception in the age of digital communication.
Sally Mann and Jenny Saville
The two artists discuss being drawn to difficult subjects, the effects of motherhood on their practice, embracing chance, and their shared adoration of Cy Twombly.
Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt
Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.
July 22–28, 2020
In her depictions of the human form, Jenny Saville transcends the boundaries of both classical figuration and modern abstraction. Oil paint, applied in heavy layers, becomes as visceral as flesh itself, each painted mark maintaining a supple, mobile life of its own. As Saville pushes, smears, and scrapes the pigment over her large-scale canvases, the distinctions between living, breathing bodies and their painted representations begin to collapse.
Photo: courtesy the artist
Extended through July 23, 2018
May 3–July 23, 2018
West 21st Street, New York