Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Jenny Saville

Born in Cambridge in 1970, she  is an English painter that works and lives between London and Palermo. Saville is best known for her monumental images of women. Saville went to the Lilley and Stone School (now The Grove Specialist Science College), Newark Notts for her secondary education, later gaining her degree at Glasgow School of Art (1988–1992), and was then awarded a six month scholarship to the University of Cincinnati, where she states that she saw “Lots of big women. Big white flesh in shorts and T-shirts. It was good to see because they had the physicality that I was interested in”. A physicality that she partially credits to Pablo Picasso, an artist that she sees as a painter that made subjects as if “they were solidly there….not fleeting”.[1] She studied at the Slade School Of Fine Art between 1992 and 1993. At the end of her postgraduate education, the leading British art collector, Charles Saatchi, purchased her entire senior show and commissioned works for the next two years. In 1994, Saville spent many hours observing plastic surgery operations in New York. Her painterly style has been compared to that of Lucian Freud and Rubens. Her paintings are usually much larger than life size. They are strongly pigmented and give a highly sensual impression of the surface of the skin as well as the mass of the body. She sometimes adds marks onto the body, such as white “target” rings. Since her debut in 1992, Saville’s focus has remained on the female body, slightly deviating into subjects with “floating or indeterminant gender,” painting large scale paintings of transsexuals and transvestites. Her published sketches and documents include surgical photographs of liposuction, trauma victims, deformity correction, disease states and transgender patients. Her painting Strategy (South Face/Front Face/North Face) appeared on the cover of Manic Street Preachers’ third album, The Holy Bible. Further to this, Stare  features as the cover of the ninth Manic Street Preachers album 2009 Journal For Plague Lovers.The Journal For Plague Lovers album cover came 2nd in a 2009 poll for Best Art Vinyl. More information about Saville are available at the link below.

Self Portrait

'Branded' Self Portrait

I love how her paintings are so textured, there is such a large pallette of colour in such a small area. I love her subject matter. Its so interesting and so real. I find larger curver women so much more interesting to work with in art rather than the typical woman portrayed in glossy magazines, they are very boring and repetative.


  1. i need help i really don't know what these paintings are called!