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.
Created in response to the covid-19 pandemic, the Artist Spotlight series highlights individual artists, one week at a time, whose exhibitions have been affected by the health crisis. A single artwork by the artist is made available with pricing information for forty-eight hours only.
To conclude the series, Artist Spotlight: Jenny Saville features a new self-portrait made by the artist to commemorate her fiftieth birthday earlier this year. For more information, please contact the gallery at email@example.com.
Photo: courtesy the artist
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.
Jenny Saville Now
On the occasion of a major survey of the artist’s work, Dr. Simon Groom, Director of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, studies the evolution of Jenny Saville’s practice.
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.
Extended through July 23, 2018
May 3–July 23, 2018
West 21st Street, New York
Friday, November 18, 2022, 6:30pm
Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London
Join Gagosian for a conversation between Jenny Saville and art critic and author Martin Gayford in conjunction with the exhibition Friends and Relations: Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach, Michael Andrews opening at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, on November 17. Taking Saville’s momentous encounter with Francis Bacon’s work in his 1985 Tate retrospective in London as a starting point, the pair will discuss the revelatory influence the artists in the exhibition have had on Saville’s own practice, as well as how her continued exploration of the human form relates to how these masters of portraiture have approached the subject. Gayford will also speak with the artist about her most recent works on view in the exhibition Jenny Saville: Latent at Gagosian, rue de Castiglione, Paris, through December 22.
Left: Jenny Saville. Photo: A. Saville. Right: Martin Gayford. Photo: Geraint Lewis
Wednesday, November 9, 2022, 4–5pm
Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut
Jenny Saville will speak with Skarlet Smatana, director of the George Economou Collection in Athens, as part of the Yale Center for British Art’s Artists in Conversation series, which brings together curators and artists to share insights into their work. The pair will discuss Saville’s practice and her interest in the human body and imperfections of the flesh. The event is free and open to the public.
Jenny Saville, Chasah, 2020 © Jenny Saville
Le Chiavi della Città di Firenze
Jenny Saville has been given the keys to Florence, Italy, by the city’s mayor, Dario Nardella, in a special ceremony on Wednesday, September 29, 2021. The prestigious honor was conferred on the occasion of Saville’s multipart exhibition at five museums in Florence, which places her paintings and drawings in dialogue with masterworks of the Italian Renaissance and is on view through February 20, 2022.
Jenny Saville being awarded le Chiavi della Città di Firenze (Keys of the City of Florence) by Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella, Salone dei Cinquecento, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, Italy, 2021
La notizia del futuro
December 1, 2021–March 27, 2022
Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, Prato, Italy
Curated by Francesco Bonami, this exhibition, whose subtitle translates to The News of the Future, places painting, sculpture, video, and sound works by twenty-two women artists in dialogue with the Museo di Palazzo Pretorio’s permanent collection. The featured works examine the concept of “annunciation” and underline the centrality of the female subject in ancient and contemporary narratives Work by Huma Bhabha and Jenny Saville is included.
Jenny Saville, Fate 3, 2018 © Jenny Saville. All rights reserved, DACS 2022. Photo: Mike Bruce
September 30, 2021–February 27, 2022
Various venues in Florence, Italy
Jenny Saville is the subject of an exhibition project conceived and curated by Sergio Risaliti, director of the Museo Novecento, in collaboration with four other major museums in Florence: Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo degli Innocenti, and Museo di Casa Buonarroti. The multipart exhibition places Saville’s paintings and drawings in dialogue with masterworks of the Italian Renaissance, including some of Michelangelo’s greatest masterpieces, offering a revealing encounter between the contemporary and the historical. Correspondences include the monumentality of Saville’s paintings—a distinctive feature of her figurative language since her early career—as well as her research focused on the body and flesh of her naked subjects.
Jenny Saville, Study for the Eyes of Argus, 2021 (detail) © Jenny Saville. All rights reserved, DACS 2021. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates
Person of Interest
January 31, 2020–July 3, 2021
Sheldon Museum of Art, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Exploring nuances in portraiture from the late nineteenth century to today—and testing the very definition of the genre—Person of Interest presents depictions of the literal and abstracted body from Sheldon’s rich holdings and selected loans. This exhibition asks open-ended questions about self-fashioning, cultural memory, gender identity, and the performance of identity. In doing so, it prompts conversations about race and representation, institutional power, and lived experiences. Work by Nathaniel Mary Quinn and Jenny Saville is included.
Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Lil’ Barbara, 2017 © Nathaniel Mary Quinn
The Human Body
April 29–June 26, 2021
Hill Art Foundation, New York
This exhibition, curated from the Hill Collection by Karel Schampers, examines the human body through figurative work from the last five hundred years. The installation spans two floors and visitors are encouraged to view the works from different levels and vantage points, creating a dialogue across diverse periods and mediums. The foundation’s collection of Renaissance bronzes is featured alongside works by artists such as Francis Bacon, Richard Prince, Jenny Saville, Rudolf Stingel, and Andy Warhol.
Installation view, The Human Body, Hill Art Foundation, New York, April 29–June 26, 2021. Artwork, left to right: © Jenny Saville, © Richard Prince, © Ron Mueck, Anthony van Dyck, Peter Paul Rubens. Photo: Matthew Herrmann