Re: information on jenny saville

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Posted by stef on February 26, 19102 at 02:58:07:

In Reply to: Re: information on jenny saville posted by laura kennedy on December 05, 19101 at 05:36:36:

: Hi I am doing a project on Jenny Saville for visuals studies. I am finding it really hard to gather any stuff on her. Please help and email me some.Thanks very much. Laura

This image features Jenny Saville and her sister leaning together as if they were conjoined twins, and is based on the same photograph that the artist's painting Hyphen of 1999 was derived from. This is Saville's first print, and it shows her exploring the new medium - the new technique producing an image that is instantly recognizable as Saville's work, yet distinctly different from her paintings. The print is constructed in layers, just like her paintings, but here a photo-based image is used: a black layer floated over the expressive fleshtones beneath

Completing her studies at the Glasgow School of Art in 1992, Jenny Saville's graduation was a huge success; every painting was sold - one to British mega-collector Charles Saatchi. By the time she was preparing to return to college for her post-graduate studies, Saatchi had tracked down the other works that had already been sold and bought them too. He then offered the artist an 18-month contract, supporting her while she created new work to be exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery in London. It was an explosive start to a young artist's career.

Hyphen, 1999
The images that had catapulted Saville into the international artworld were born from a fusion of her addictive love of painting and strong interest in feminist theory. Yet Saville's chosen methods - large oil paintings of female nudes - were oddly outmoded: implicitly associated with a male-dominated art history. That she has managed to use such means to put forward a consistent, credible statement as a contemporary female artist is testament to the singularity of her vision.

Propped, 1992
Early works display Saville's literal merging of theory and image. In Propped, from 1992, an oversized female nude sits precariously on a stool. Clutching at her thighs, she peers down at us from her gargantuan height with a look that is defiant and yet coquettish. Her knees appear to protrude out from the picture, only held in by a veil of words etched into the paint surface - quotes from a text by the French feminist theorist Luce Irigaray. While Saville's work may not only be a critique of the traditional female nude in art history, this aspect is certainly an important part of her endeavor. We may recognize the figurative brushwork and the larger-than-life, Rubensian figures in her images, but we are not permitted the objectification and enjoyment of the body presented to us.

Plan, 1993
In 1994, Saville participated in the exhibition that was to make her name, 'Young British Artists III' at the Saatchi Gallery. Her work Plan, a large nude self-portrait, became one of the signature images of the show. Towering like a flesh mountain above the gallery audience, with a small, distant head peering down from the top of the canvas. The mottled skin tones were etched with contour lines: as if to show the gradient on a mapped landscape, or the lines made by plastic surgeons as they demarcate the body in preparation for liposuction - the undesirable flesh waiting to be cut away.

Closed Contact 4, 1995
Saville works from photographs rather than directly from life models. She will often use an amalgamation of images to create the figures in her pictures, referring to magazines and medical text books for the right details of flesh tones, bruises, pockmarks and dimples. In 1995, in a break from her painting, Saville extended this photographic emphasis by producing an influential series of photographs in collaboration with the photographer Glen Luchford. In Closed Contact 1-15 the artist again doubled as model, producing images that were more graphically violent to the flesh than had been the case in her paintings. The photographs show a body pressed onto plexiglass, shot from below. As the flesh was pulled and pushed, stretched and squeezed, the effect was of both rubbery unreality and tortured corporeality.

Matrix, 1999
More recently Saville has expanded the subject matter of her paintings: Matrix, of 1999, confronts us with a graphic depiction of a reclining transsexual. As with much of Saville's work, the face - in this case with stubble and masculine features - seems removed from the vast body and sexual organs to which it finds itself attached; the body parts being those of a woman. Unlike her earlier composite nudes, here we are presented with the depiction of a real life ambiguity of sexual and corporeal identity.

Fulcrum, 1998-9
This is a keen example of how the artist's dispassionate depictions of flesh - comparable at times to hunks of meat on a butcher's table (as in the body pile depicted in Fulcrum) - are enlivened by Saville's sensuous response to the activity of painting. Rich impasto and slathers of color represent a thigh, a nipple or a knee, on canvases so large that the artist is frequently forced to work on scaffolding. If the erotic appears at all in Saville's works, it is in the rendering of the surface rather than in the subject matter. For it is within the painted surface that the conceptual meets the physical: the ideas manifested through the performative act of putting this rather bodily liquid - paint - onto canvas, mark by dripping mark.

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