Jenny Saville - Migrants
Reverse, 2002-2003
Oil on canvas
84 x 96 inches (213.4 x 243.8 cm)

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Opening reception: Saturday, April 5, 6 – 8pm

Gagosian Gallery is very pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibition of new paintings by Jenny Saville. Migrants will be her first solo exhibition since her show at Gagosian Gallery in 1999. Saville has been recognized as one of the most thought-provoking and technically accomplished talents of her generation. She has become known for her monumental paintings of fleshy nudes. In this exhibition, worked on over the last two years, Saville further explores the workings of the flesh.

Saville calls herself a 'scavenger of images;' she prefers to work from photographs rather than living models. Her studio is a repository of images from old medical journals of bruises, scars, images of deformities and disease. On a recent visit to her brother's farm in England, she found and photographed the corpse of a dead pig. The subsequent painting shows its distended stomach splayed across a huge canvas. Reminiscent of the paintings of Chaim Soutine, Saville was drawn to this subject matter because of her interest in the medical world's use of pig organs for human transplant as well as cloning. With Saville's handling, this potentially revolting subject is disturbing yet glorious.

Also included will be Saville's first work depicting a subject outside the studio. In it a half-naked woman, screaming, appears to be running from a building as hands from an unseen figure are restraining her. Horror and trauma blazes across her face. Painted with strong, urgent brushstrokes, this disturbing painting depicts how deeply the artist is influenced by current world events.

The four remaining works in the show include a beautiful, richly worked image of Saville's head laid on its side. Unlike the previous exhibition where her layered palette was mostly pale ethereal colors of pinks and grays, this new body of work is dominated by bold, bloody colors such as reds, browns and blues.

A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Linda Nochlin will accompany the exhibition.