Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Art Book Review: Jenny Saville

Title: Jenny Saville
Author: Gagosian Gallery
Publisher: Rizzoli
Published: 2005
Pages: 160
Price: $31.50
Jenny Saville

I actually had Jenny’s cover painting in one of my inspiration books (goodness knows where I found it) but I wasen’t familiar with most of her work. This book is a beautifully designed and photographed exploration of her paintings. She paints skin so boldly and gesturally (which suits the dark nature of her subject matter, which includes corpses and pre-op plastic surgery patients) but still manages to give it a life like quality. I find the contrast between her cool coloured portraits (greys and blues) vs. her very warm red ones interesting. Gorgeous photography of her studio and source materials give a glimpse of her process and inspiration, and nicely round out the presentation of her work.

My favourite element of the book though, is the detail shots of her brush strokes, I always find myself peering with my nose to the paper in art books trying to see the texture of the painting. In the case of Saville’s paintings the closeup’s are really necessary to capture the motion and gesture of her work.

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