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Jenny Saville

Continuum

September 15–October 22, 2011
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Installation view Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view  Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation view

Artwork © Jenny Saville. Photo: Rob McKeever

Installation video Play Button

Installation video

Works Exhibited

Jenny Saville, Red Stare Head IV, 2006–11 Oil on canvas, 99 ¼ × 73 ⅞ inches (252 × 187.5 cm)© Jenny Saville. Photo: Mike Bruce

Jenny Saville, Red Stare Head IV, 2006–11

Oil on canvas, 99 ¼ × 73 ⅞ inches (252 × 187.5 cm)
© Jenny Saville. Photo: Mike Bruce

About

[Flesh] is all things. Ugly, beautiful, repulsive, compelling, anxious, neurotic, dead, alive.
—Jenny Saville

Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by Jenny Saville, her first in New York since Migrants in 2003.

Fascinated by the endless aesthetic and formal possibilities that the materiality of the human body offers, Saville remits a highly sensuous and tactile impression of surface and mass in her monumental oil paintings. In the compelling Stare paintings she renders the contours and features of the face and the nuances of skin texture and color in strokes both bold and meticulous. Enlarging the facial features of her human subjects to a vast scale and portraying them in layer upon layer of paint, she imbues them with a sense of mass and weight that is almost sculptural and at times wholly abstract. Intense pinks, reds, and blues erupt through pale skin tones, disclosing the internal workings of the painting like the flesh and blood of a living organism.

Saville depicts the intimate relationship between mother and child in a series of life-size drawings directly inspired by Renaissance nativity portraits—in particular Leonardo da Vinci’s cartoon The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and John the Baptist, an atypical scene in which the Virgin contends with a lively Christ-child. In Study for Pentimenti IV (After Michelangelo’s Virgin and Child) (2011) and Componimento inculto (2011), the subjects—a pregnant woman and a young child—are recorded in symbiotic flux. Multiple impressions of each figure are drawn, erased, and superimposed again to create studies in simultaneity; the relationship between the subjects is expressed in a series of dynamic poses rather than in static compositions of iconographic order. Through these intricate studies, Saville gives powerful graphic life to the anatomical details and expressive movements that animate and underpin her visceral paintings.

Jenny Saville, Pietà I, 2019–21, charcoal and pastel on canvas

Jenny Saville: A cyclical rhythm of emergent forms

An exhibition curated by Sergio Risaliti, director of the Museo Novecento, Florence, pairs artworks by Jenny Saville with artists of the Italian Renaissance. On view across that city at the Museo Novecento, the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the Museo degli Innocenti, and the Museo di Casa Buonarroti through February 20, 2022, the presentation features paintings and drawings by Saville from the 1990s through to work made especially for the occasion. Here, Risaliti reflects on the resonances and reverberations brought about by these pairings.

A Jenny Saville painting titled Self-Portrait (after Rembrandt), oil on paper

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.

Jenny Saville’s Prism (2020) on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly magazine.

Now available
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, Study for Pentimenti I, 2011, graphite and pastel on paper.

Shortlist
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 in her studio.

In Conversation
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.

Left: Sally Mann, Self-Portrait, 1974; right: Jenny Saville in her studio, c. 1990s.

In Conversation
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.

News

Photo: courtesy the artist

Artist Spotlight

Jenny Saville

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