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Jenny Saville

British, b. 1970

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Jenny Saville

British, b. 1970

13,410
Followers
Biography

Jenny Saville paints female nudes in extreme states of grotesque exaggeration—deformed, obese, brutalized, or mutilated—working against the male-dominated history of idealized portraits of women. “I want to be a painter of modern life, and modern bodies,” she says. The morbidity of Saville’s human subjects, often bleeding or violently gripping their own flesh, bears a stark resemblance to her portraits of butchered animals, both grotesque and objectified. Working in a style with various links to Lucien Freud and Peter Paul Rubens, Saville takes many of her themes and subjects from a critical observation of everyday people—American women in shopping malls, patients being prepped for liposuction, and even her childhood piano teacher. “I was fascinated by the way her two breasts would become one,” she says of the latter, “the way her fat moved, the way it hung on the back of her arms.”

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO)
Group
Group show at a major institution
Tate Britain, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

Jenny Saville paints female nudes in extreme states of grotesque exaggeration—deformed, obese, brutalized, or mutilated—working against the male-dominated history of idealized portraits of women. “I want to be a painter of modern life, and modern bodies,” she says. The morbidity of Saville’s human subjects, often bleeding or violently gripping their own flesh, bears a stark resemblance to her portraits of butchered animals, both grotesque and objectified. Working in a style with various links to Lucien Freud and Peter Paul Rubens, Saville takes many of her themes and subjects from a critical observation of everyday people—American women in shopping malls, patients being prepped for liposuction, and even her childhood piano teacher. “I was fascinated by the way her two breasts would become one,” she says of the latter, “the way her fat moved, the way it hung on the back of her arms.”

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO)
Group
Group show at a major institution
Tate Britain, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Articles Featuring Jenny Saville
This Artwork Changed My Life: Jenny Saville’s “Strategy”
Jul 7th, 2020
This Artwork Changed My Life: Jenny Saville’s “Strategy”
How Jenny Saville Changed the Way We View the Female Form in Painting
Oct 11th, 2018
How Jenny Saville Changed the Way We View the Female Form in Painting
The 1990s
Aug 24th, 2015
The 1990s
Jenny Saville’s Curatorial Response to Rubens Signals A Larger Trend
Feb 13th, 2015
Jenny Saville’s Curatorial Response to Rubens Signals A Larger Trend
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