First Solo show in a UK Public Gallery opens 23 June – 16 September 2012
Modern Art Oxford is presenting the first solo exhibition of work by the British painter Jenny Saville in a UK public gallery. This major exhibition traces Saville’s practice from the early nineties to the present and includes new works made for the galleries at Modern Art Oxford.
The exhibition presents celebrated early paintings such as Trace (1993); examples of later works which depart from the recognisable female form to explore the materiality of the body, its architecture and ambiguity; to recent ‘portraits’ such as the Stare series (2006-11). It includes new works on paper which take inspiration from Renaissance nativity paintings, in particular The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist (The Burlington House Cartoon) (1499-1500), by Leonardo da Vinci; these highly personal works marking a return to the female form.
“Even though I am making so-called traditional paintings I’ve come to realise the thread running through my work is a sense of ‘in-between-ness’ . . . like an image that’s not life or death.”
Saville rose to prominence in the mid-1990s with her monumental paintings depicting flesh and form on a vast scale, where a sense of physicality is scrutinized with a vivid, uncompromising intensity and autobiographical charge.
This exhibition presents a compelling, provocative and unflinchingly visceral body of work by one of the UK’s most important contemporary painters, and includes rarely seen works sourced from public and private collections internationally.
Jenny Saville was born in Cambridge, England in 1970. In 1990, midway through her BA course at the Glasgow School of Art, she exhibited in Contemporary ’90 at the Royal College of Art. In 1992 she completed her degree as well as showing in Edinburgh and in Critics Choice at the Cooling Gallery, London. Following the success of her show at the Saatchi Gallery in 1994, she took part in the exhibition American Passion, which toured from the McLellan Gallery, Glasgow, to the Royal College of Art and the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.
Her work has been included in exhibitions worldwide including Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London (1997, travelled to Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York 1998-99); The Nude In 20th Century Art, Kunsthalle Emden, Germany (2002, travelled to Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen in 2003); Painting, Museo Correr, 50th Biennale di Venezia (2003); and Paint Made Flesh, Frist Center for the Arts, Nashville (2009, travelled to the Philips Collections, Washington D.C. and Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY in 2010). In 2005, her work was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome.
Modern Art Oxford, 30 Pembroke Street, Oxford OX1 1BP. Tel. 01865 722733