De Kooning is my main man, really, because he just did everything you can do with paint. He reversed it, dripped it, scraped it. But I want to hold on to a certain amount of reality.
— Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville RA; contemporary British painter associated with the Young British Artists. She is known for her large-scale painted depictions of nude women. Saville works and lives in Oxford, England.

Saville was born on 7 May 1970 in Cambridge, England. Saville went to the Lilley and Stone School (now The Grove School Specialist Science College) in Newark, Nottinghamshire, for her secondary education, later gaining her degree at Glasgow School of Art (1988-92), and was then awarded a 6-month scholarship to the University of Cincinnati where she states that she saw "Lots of big women. Big white flesh in shorts and T-shirts. It was good to see because they had the physicality that I was interested in" - a physicality that she partially credits to Pablo Picasso, an artist that she sees as a painter that made subjects as if "they were solidly there...not fleeting."

At the end of Saville's postgraduate education, British art collector, Charles Saatchi, purchased her senior show. He offered the artist an 18-month contract, supporting her while she created new works to be exhibited in the Saatchi Gallery in London. The collection, Young British Artists III, exhibited in 1994 with Saville's self-portrait, Plan, as the signature piece. Rising quickly to critical and public recognition in part through Saatchi's patronage, Saville has been noted for creating art through the use of a classical standard—figure painting. Although Saville's chosen method is traditional, she has found a way to reinvent figure painting and regain its position in the context of art history. Known primarily for her large-scale paintings of nude women, Saville has also emerged as a Young British Artist (YBA). Much of her work features...
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Cindy Shih


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