Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville Shift 1996-1997 oil on canvas 130" x 130" [large detail]

She doesn't need this humble blog to attract attention; she's already there. But after a visit today to, well . . . okay, I'll admit it, the vast halls of Gagosian, I couldn't resist broadcasting this gorgeous detail - even if it's a very poor substitute for being there with the paint.

Jenny Saville Shift 1996-1997 oil on canvas 130" x 130"

[lower image from Gagosian gallery]

There's a strange uncritical thread running through the art world. Follow it to find big names that drift away, like the string on a helium balloon released.

We rode Hirst smiling all the way through animal tanks into his current feeble idiocy, and many now are asking why it took so long for us to jump off.

Mapplethorpe's big schlongs got a free ride until the Whitney got smart and started exhibiting him in a back room, like triple-X porn videos. You almost can't find him anymore, at least I can't.

Schnabel can scarcely be found exhibited in most of the museums that own him, but we all remember the day when he could do no wrong.

Is Saville destined for a similar fate? If not, all consideration of craft and my own appreciation for many of her paintings aside, how can we justify the continued uncritical lauding of her train of gratuitously violent imagery? Will we be able to continue this justification ad infinitum?

i wouldn't compare hirst's sardonic irony with saville's work. nor do i think the 'uncritical thread' that is spreading through the art world applies to her either. i find her paintings, while disturbing, thoughtful and not gratuitous.

It all depends on what your comfort levels are: "thoughtful and not gratuitous" yet "disturbing" are likely to be the emotions Saville wishes to elicit from an audience. However, some do find this type of art "gratuitously violent." I find a lot of Saville's work blatant and shocking, but I can't justify the tag "gratuitous" myself.

In the world of art today we are bombarded with shock imagery. Regardless, Jenny Saville has intelligence, talent, and is a master of her craft. She also understands how to incorporate the social issues of her generation to her work.
She gives you substance!