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Sensation of Filling the Canvas by Jenny Saville


This post is one in the series, and is connected to the art exhibition Sensations.

You can read more about it HERE.

Some may find the content disturbing and the themes mentioned may be upsetting.

In other words, you need to make up your own mind!

The painting bellow by Jenny Saville was the one that resonated with me the most.

The perspective of the body filling out and overflowing the canvas was very powerful.

I felt that the lines, as if drawn on by a plastic surgeon before liposuction where an important commentary on the way we perceive beauty and how we struggle to achieve perfection, which is defined by others.

Saville seems to be fascinated with the appearance of fat. It started when she would sit on the floor watching her piano teacher, with her thick thighs, tweed skirt and tights.

The image stuck in her head and would go on to portray the awe and intimacy.

She explains:

  “I wanted both in those pictures. A large female body has a power, it occupies a physical space, yet there’s an anxiety about it. It has to be hidden.”

She believed part of her endeavor was a search for intimacy, “as if being in a mother’s arms”, whereas part of it was discomfort, “the anxiety that comes from living with flesh”.


About Agzy The Ripper

Sew, Rip, Repeat... and love each moment of it! Join me as I embark on a myriad of sewing and crafting shenanigans.

2 responses »

  1. I only saw some her work this past winter in Palm Beach Florida, powerful indeed to stand in front of her large works!

    • I was amazed at her work regarding the body. I’m not a big fan of other works by Saville, but each to their won 😉 Is it horrible of me to have presumed that the painter was plus size? I was surprised a skinny woman would even think to explore the issue of a full body.


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