Reception for the artists: Saturday, January 12, 2002 6 – 8pm
Gagosian Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the photographic series Closed Contact, 1995-96. This collaboration between painter Jenny Saville and fashion photographer/filmmaker Glen Luchford confronts and challenges conceived notions of feminine beauty. The collusion of the art and fashion worlds has produced many hybrids in recent years, yet none perhaps as intensely striking as this series. In this body of work, the artists have created a new form of self-portraiture, using Saville as the model.
After having observed the operations of reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, Saville was eager to express the violence and anesthetized pain of this experience in her own work. Luchford and Saville began an artistic collaboration that captures the full range of color, tonality and topography of live flesh, in large photographic tableaux. Distortions confront and coerce the viewer into an examination of one's own body and the grotesqueries and beauties inherent within. The images also recall biological specimens preserved, disembodied and disfigured.
"The images offer, not a story, but an experience that begins in visceral uneasiness and gradually shifts to a haunted serenity. The discomfort is complicated. It is triggered partly by our sense of the instantaneous monstrosity of a normal human transformed by the spreading of the shape beyond what we understood as normal…"
- Katherine Dunn, from the exhibition catalogue
Since first appearing on the London art scene in 1994, Jenny Saville has been recognized as one of the most thought provoking and technically accomplished talents of her generation. She is known for her huge canvases depicting giant and fleshy nudes that confront perceptions of beauty and femininity.
Glen Luchford is a highly regarded fashion photographer, based in London. In 1997 he won the DA & D advertising award for the Prada campaign. Most recently, he directed his first feature film "From Here to Where," winning a special nomination for the Michael Powell Award for Best New British Feature at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an original essay by acclaimed writer Katherine Dunn. A limited edition that will include a photographic print in a specially designed Plexiglas case will also be available.