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Jenny Saville to present new paintings at Gagosian London. - FAD Magazine

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Jenny Saville to present new paintings at Gagosian London.

JENNY SAVILLE Ekkyklema III, 2023 Pastel on paper 22 1/2 x 30 inches (57 x 76 cm) © Jenny Saville. All rights reserved, DACS 2023 Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd Courtesy Gagosian

Gagosian is pleased to present Ekkyklema, an exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Jenny Saville, opening at the Davies Street gallery in London on November 30th.

The project’s title refers to a wheeled platform that was used to move interior scenes into the audience’s view during antique productions of Greek tragic drama and alludes to the artist’s search for a pictorial language with which to confront our simultaneous occupation of material and screen-based worlds. Ekkyklema is also concerned with the moment and mystery of conception—a truly universal subject.

Saville’s new work was inspired in part by the giant digital display screens employed at stadiums and other major event venues, the scale and visual power of which generate an overwhelming, almost religious spectacle. Throughout the exhibition, the artist compartmentalizes body parts into angular screenlike panels whose hard edges and clustered arrangements recall desktop computing’s windows and menus and the boxed-in talking heads of news broadcasts. The artist evolved this pictorial system over the past year, focusing on our intersecting physical and electronic realities by combining figuration and abstraction. “I gave myself the challenge of feeling the ancient and digital worlds simultaneously,” she writes.

JENNY SAVILLE Ekkyklema I, 2023 Pastel on linen 23 3/4 x 27 1/2 inches (60.2 x 69.7 cm) © Jenny Saville. All rights reserved, DACS 2023 Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd Courtesy Gagosian

The reclining figures in Saville’s new paintings allude to the Greek mythological character of Danaë, whose child, it was prophesied, would kill his grandfather, Acrisius. Zeus visited the imprisoned Danae? in the form of a shower of gold, and from their union, Perseus was born—who later fulfilled the prediction. Rembrandt famously produced a monumentally scaled depiction of Danae? reclining on a bed and many other artists, including Titian, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Gustav Klimt, have also painted her. Saville drew the works’ palette from watercolor studies, produced over the past two years, of the changing light and colors of the Greek sky at sunset.

JENNY SAVILLE Ekkyklema II, 2023 Acrylic, charcoal, and pastel on watercolor paper 22 3/4 x 30 inches (57.7 x 76 cm) © Jenny Saville. All rights reserved, DACS 2023 Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd Courtesy Gagosian

Finally, the works in Ekkyklema recall fragmented portraits by Pablo Picasso. The connection is an appropriate one since Saville made numerous studies in preparing the paintings—as Picasso did before working on paintings such as Guernica (1937). Her subjects are further complicated by active lines of intense color that suggest frenzied motion, while the compositions’ overlaid “screens” evoke the multiple perspectives characteristic of Cubism, interrupting her images of single and plural nude figures with partial views that offer fragmented glimpses of past, future, or alternative realities.

JENNY SAVILLE, Ekkyklema, November 30, 2023–February 10, 2024, 17–19 Gagosian, Davies Street, London

Opening reception: Thursday, November 30th, 6–8pm

About the artist

Jenny Saville was born in 1970 in Cambridge, England, and lives and works in Oxford, England. Collections include Tate, London; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Seattle Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and The Broad, Los Angeles. Recent exhibitions include Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome (2005); Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida (2011, traveled to Modern Art Oxford, England, through 2012); Egon Schiele– Jenny Saville, Kunsthaus Zu?rich (2014–15); Jenny Saville Drawing, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, England (2015–16); Now, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2018); George Economou Collection, Athens (2018–19); and Museo Novecento, Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo degli Innocenti, and Museo di Casa Buonarroti, Florence, Italy (2021–22).

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