Jenny Saville (England, 1970) is probably best known for her large scale oil paintings of fleshy, obese female figures. Saville’s work invokes a deep fascination in the palpability of flesh, extremities of anatomy, and the grotesque combined with a masterly and yet intuitive instinct for the handling of paint.
Jenny Saville, the Royal Academician known for her large-scale oil paintings of female figures, will create her own new work to go inside it, as she aims to reflect a “deep understanding” of Rubens’ place in art history. According to Saville“Whether you think you like Rubens or not, his influence runs through the pathways of paintings. Like Warhol, he changed the game of art.”
Jenny Saville’s understanding of Rubens’ work is intellectual, emotional and visceral.Rubens’s work too, can be thought-provoking and moving, shocking even, but by and large his teeming canvases are a monument to his sheer virtuosity; he was, arguably, the first rococo genius.
Saville’s work can be compared to that of Lucien Freud. Her works are strongly pigmented and give a highly sensual impression of the surface of the skin as well as the mass of the body.
According to Saville “It’s become really difficult to do figurative painting that isn’t naff or cheesy and which feels relevant. I have found a way of doing it by looking at abstract painters like Willem de Kooning and Cy Tombly. I like looking at very old figurative painting, at the old masters.”