The paintings of the human figure by British artist Jenny Saville (b.1970) have been infrequently exhibited since first premiered in the late 1990s. Included in the 1997 exhibition of the collection of British marketing giant Charles Saatchi entitled Sensation, she did not earn the notoriety of her slightly older peers, “the young British artists” for unusual materials. Instead, Saville masterfully painted with oil on canvas and concentrated on the human figure but still created provocative work. Her monumental compositions of the female form were unromantic and suggested the reality of weight, flesh and blood. Initially restricted to a feminist critique Saville’s skill and compositions have evolved. She continues to paint luscious canvases that reveal that her subject has always been the medium of painting itself. Taking on the challenge of the history of modern painting through the tradition of classical figure painting her contribution is the subject of this exhibition.
This selective exhibition of 28 canvases and drawings dating from 1992 – 2011 will bring Saville’s mature work together for the first time. Included will be such recognizable works as Fulcrum (1999) and Reverse (2002-3) as well as examples showcasing Saville’s exceptional draftsmanship in key works from the recent series Reproduction drawing (after the Leonardo cartoon),(2009-10) which references the iconic image found in the collection of London’s National Gallery. Works from the artist’s studio which have not been previously exhibited also will be included.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated publication.
Jenny Saville, is the first exhibition in the Norton’s RAW series — Recognition of Art by Women — made possible by the Leonard and Sophie Davis Fund/MLDauray Arts Initiative.