Jenny Saville RA (b. 1970)

Jenny Saville is probably best known for her large scale oil paintings of fleshy, obese female figures. Saville’s work invokes a deep fascination in the palpability of flesh, extremities of anatomy, and the grotesque combined with a masterly and yet intuitive instinct for the handling of paint. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1992 and was appointed as lecturer at The Slade School of Fine Arts, London between 2000 - 2006.

By 1994 Saville’s increasing profile enabled her to exhibit in several notable group shows: Young British Artists III, Saatchi Gallery, London (1994), Contemporary British Art ’96, Museum of Kalmar, Stockholm (1996) and the iconic Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal Academy of Arts, London (1997), positioning Saville as one of the foremost painters of her generation. Many people became familiar with Saville’s massive paintings, such as Plan (1993), in which a naked woman is seen from below, her body filling the canvas through a combination of physical bulk and extreme foreshortening, the surface of the flesh inscribed like a topographic map showing the distinct lines of a surgeon’s plan. In 1999 Saville produced her first major solo exhibition; Territories for Gagosian Gallery, New York and subsequently her second solo show; Migrants, also for Gagosian Gallery, New York (2003). More recently Saville was the subject of an in-depth survey exhibition at the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2005) and the renowned collector Carlo Billoti commissioned Saville to produce 3 artworks for the inagural exhibition of the Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome (2006).

Jenny Saville lives and works between London and Palermo, Italy.


Royal Academician


Born: 1970 in Cambridge, England, United Kingdom

Nationality: British

Elected RA: 31 May 2007

Gender: Female

Preferred media: Painting and Photography