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Extended through July 23, 2018

Jenny Saville

Ancestors

May 3–July 23, 2018
West 21st Street, New York

Installation view © Jenny Saville

Installation view

© Jenny Saville

Installation view © Jenny Saville

Installation view

© Jenny Saville

Installation view © Jenny Saville

Installation view

© Jenny Saville

Installation view © Jenny Saville

Installation view

© Jenny Saville

Installation view © Jenny Saville

Installation view

© Jenny Saville

Installation view © Jenny Saville

Installation view

© Jenny Saville

Works Exhibited

Jenny Saville, Fate I, 2018 Oil on canvas, 102 ⅜ × 94 ½ inches (260 × 240 cm)© Jenny Saville. Photo: Mike Bruce

Jenny Saville, Fate I, 2018

Oil on canvas, 102 ⅜ × 94 ½ inches (260 × 240 cm)
© Jenny Saville. Photo: Mike Bruce

Jenny Saville, Vis and Ramin, 2018 Oil on canvas, 98 ½ × 137 ⅞ inches (250 × 350 cm)© Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville, Vis and Ramin, 2018

Oil on canvas, 98 ½ × 137 ⅞ inches (250 × 350 cm)
© Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville, Vis and Ramin II, 2018 (detail) Oil on canvas, 76 ½ × 128 ½ inches (194.3 × 326.4 cm)© Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville, Vis and Ramin II, 2018 (detail)

Oil on canvas, 76 ½ × 128 ½ inches (194.3 × 326.4 cm)
© Jenny Saville

About

I’m trying to see if it’s possible to hold onto that moment of perception, or have several moments coexist. . . . Like looking at a memory.
—Jenny Saville

Gagosian is pleased to present Ancestors, new paintings by Jenny Saville.

In her drawings and paintings, Saville transcends the boundaries of both classical figuration and modern abstraction in her depiction of the human form. Her work reveals a deep awareness, both intellectual and sensory, of how the body has been represented over time and across cultures—from antique and Hindu sculpture to Renaissance drawing and painting to the work of modern artists such as Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning, and Pablo Picasso.

In this exhibition, Saville depicts the body from the perspective of classical sculpture. The immense canvases recall archetypes from religion and mythology, such as the pietà, the Fates, and the Greek figure of Danaë, who was impregnated by Zeus in a shower of golden rain. The story of Danaë is a popular subject in Renaissance painting, its ethereal cloud and startling sexuality serving as a representational challenge. Titian, master colorist of the Venetian School, famously depicted the scene in the mid-sixteenth century; Saville’s figures, even when recognizable from historical narrative, are at the same time unmistakably of the present moment, merging allusion with immediate sensation.

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Jenny Saville: Ancestors

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, 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.

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