Jenny Saville’s extremely tactile approach to painting women’s bodies, including her own, as a feminist critique of the way the female nude has been portrayed by the male art establishment has influenced my work in:
Assignment 2: The Human Condition 2: Flesh Here my focus is on the tactility of the body and ways in which different types of paper eg wrinkled blotting paper or tracing paper give different body textures. As well as meanings of different shapes.
Assignment 4: Abstract Self-Portrait (forthcoming)
Assignment 5: Memory? (forthcoming influenced by Aleppo)
“The way to change peoples’ attitudes is just to do it.”
“The struggle is part of making things work”
“Try to create a balance of being unbalanced”
References and resources
Gray, J., L. Nochlin, D. Sylvester and S. Schama (2005?). Jenny Saville. New York, Rizzoli.
Key points for my printmaking:
- She works from photos and sketches, not painting from live models
- She plays with colours and composition in Photoshop
- Some of her paintings use text – following the example of feminist photographers like Jo Spence
- Mixing red and cyan on flesh creates tension because we do not know how to read it.
- Body as narrative of traces, a copperplate to be etched on – possibilities for over-printing
- Cut out the shape of a body and draw around and over it, then remove the mask. Keep going till you have something believable.
Jenny Saville discussing her painting process in 2018 in relation to the All Too Human exhibition at Tate Britain. This is a detailed discussion of her working process and evolution as an artist. She is interested in:
- Relationship between ‘how you are’ and ‘how you are seen’ eg in work on plastic surgery, people saw themselves as ill because they did not have the nose or breasts they wanted. They saw surgery as enabling them to be their ‘real self’.
- Paint as vocabulary and anatomy of paint traces from Pollock and de Kooning and document of the process of making
Earlier interview with Jenny Saville, focussing particularly on her recent work with its interest in time and traces, multiple figures and memory.
in exhibition ‘All Too Human’ pieta of people carrying bodies out from war zones. she used lots of photographs of a woman in burqa and lots of bodies.
“I have been working on Pietas [depictions of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ] quite a bit, and a series of children being carried.
“Over 20 years I have collecting images of babies being carried out of bombings, war situations, in Pieta poses knowing that one day I will do a piece, so this work has been a long time in the making.
“Aleppo is the first one I have released like it.
“I have done paintings linked to war before, but not linked to a political situation – I have endless images from the internet, or from newspapers, of babies that have been killed in these bombings, and when I finished the piece, I have two children myself, how long will it be before we as humans know not to do this?
“When I was titling it, I thought I would link it – for the first time – to what is going on in Syria.
Music Video of more of her paintings