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The new Rizzoli monograph on Jenny Saville, accompanying her recent exhibition in New York at Gagosian Gallery, is one of the finer books yet published about this artist who grows in distinction with every year. In 1992, British painter Jenny Saville first captured the art world's attention with her series of towering nude portraits of obese women, their ruddy bodies marked by fat folds, blemishes and bra-strap indentations. Now Saville explores the female form in a different, delicate condition: pregnancy. From an expert critic the following information proves informative: Saville, who lives with artist Paul McPhail in Oxford, had her first child, a son, in 2007, followed by a daughter the next year. Doctors forbade her from painting with red cadmium or other potentially toxic paints. As her belly grew, she had to climb the ladder in her studio more slowly; she also had to use longer paintbrushes that offered greater reach. And the moment her son was born, she had to begin painting between his naps rather than round-the-clock. Yet for a painter obsessed with the terrain of the human body, pregnancy also kindled ideas about how a woman looks when she is "at human capacity."
The richly reproduced images that fill the pages of this generous book include several new departures for the artist in addition to the images of mother and child. There are several huge paintings of the head of a woman, at times paired with mirror image. There is also an increase in the amount of drawing in these works, that is drawing to allow multiple levels of articulation of the images while not diminishing her lavish use of paint for the central image.
It is probably no accident that the series titled `The Mothers' suggest the Madonna and Child.Read more ›
I have complete respect for this lady's work, it inspires me in my own painting. This book is superb. Her new work is very focussed on her two small children. The drawings are influenced by Degas and her other influences and opinions are beautifully told by an interview with her in her studio in Oxford. I felt I learned about Jenny herself, rather than just her craft. I would firmly recommend this to anyone who rates her work both canvases and charcoal pieces. A beautiful book.
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Jenny Saville's most recent paintings actually show movement with the paint. As always, she demonstrates superb draftsmanship combined with interesting view points. This book is well written and includes an interview. Good quality paper and nice large paintings.
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