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Gagosian Premieres

For the third episode of the online event series Gagosian Premieres, Jenny Saville will celebrate her exhibition Elpis at Gagosian New York with painter Nathaniel Mary Quinn and historian Simon Schama, with a performance by the Aaron Diehl Trio, who will play music by Philip Glass as well as a new composition inspired by the work on view.

In her new series of monumental portraits, Saville explores the human face and body, producing bold and sensuous impressions of surface, line, and mass. Painting from photographs, she magnifies individual features, employing expressive brushstrokes to create dramatic juxtapositions of color and light that recall Byzantine icons and mosaics. Titled after the ancient Greek personification of hope left behind in Pandora’s box, the paintings in Elpis are grounded in tangible reality while reaching toward myth.

In this episode of Gagosian Premieres, Quinn takes viewers on a walkthrough of Saville’s exhibition, sharing his enthusiasm for the craft of painting and the power of the artist’s vision. With Schama, Saville explores the broader cultural context of her work. And the Aaron Diehl Trio performs the composer’s Études nos. 2 and 16—compositions selected by Saville as communicating a vitality and uplift that resonates with her own practice—as well as “Prism,” a new piece written by Diehl in response to Saville’s paintings.

Upcoming Episodes