Her first exhibition in New York City since 2003, Jenny Saville‘s Continuum is on now at the Madison Avenue Gagosian Gallery. Writes Saville, “[Flesh] is all things. Ugly, beautiful, repulsive, compelling, anxious, neurotic, dead, alive.” In the multicolored paintings of the Stare series, the body and face are disturbingly laid open. The artist depicts flesh in all forms and colors, often grotesque, as seen in several mother and child paintings, which are also heavily influenced by Biblical imagery.
“Continuum” doesn’t shy away from the human figure. Instead, Saville confronts it within, as the exhibition name suggests, a continuum of color and shape toward different end than other contemporary figure artists. In “Continuum,” the piece is a stable collection of components: far from positing an ephemeral figure and a shifting portrait, Saville’s figures may be ugly or starkly rendered but they are always present. Saville laments and celebrates a permanence of human identity and its representation, with aim to present the object in all its forms.
Born in Cambridge, England, in 1970, Jenny Saville studied at the Glasgow School of Art. The artist has had numerous solo shows at galleries and museums around the world, including Museo d’Arte Contemporanea-Roma, and Saatchi Gallery, London. Her work was included in the 2003 Venice Biennale, and in the 2009 exhibition Paint Made Flesh at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. Saville lives and works in Oxford.