In conversation: Jenny Saville
Artist Jenny Saville in conversation with Justin Paton
British artist Jenny Saville pushes the boundaries of figurative painting, exploring the beauty and imperfection of the human form. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear from this leading contemporary artist speaking about her work and influences. Saville’s work can be seen in the exhibition Here we are, featuring work from renowned Australian and international female artists. Jenny Saville will be in conversation with Justin Paton, the Gallery’s head curator of international art.
Jenny Saville was born in 1970 in Cambridge, England, where she attended the Glasgow School of Art from 1988 to 1992, spending a term at the University of Cincinnati in 1991. Her studies focused her interest in “imperfections” of flesh, with all of its societal implications and taboos. A member of the Young British Artists (YBAs), the loose group of painters and sculptors who came to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Saville reinvigorated contemporary figurative painting by challenging the limits of the genre and raising questions about society’s perception of the body and its potential. Though forward-looking, her work reveals a deep awareness, both intellectual and sensory, of how the body has been represented over time and across cultures—from antique and Hindu sculpture, to Renaissance drawing and painting, to the work of modern artists such as Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning, and Pablo Picasso. Saville’s paintings refuse to fit smoothly into an historical arc; instead, each body comes forward, autonomous, voluminous, and always refusing to hide.
Image: Jenny Saville. Photo by A. Saville.