Image: Portrait of Jenny Saville by A. Saville B & W Credit Photo by A. Saville.
Here we are
Sydney Women’s Fund and The Maybanke Fund, a sub-fund of Sydney Community Foundation, are delighted to partner with the Art Gallery of New South Wales for ‘Here we are’ – a spring exhibition.
To celebrate, we invite you to join us for a private viewing and an evening with internationally acclaimed artist, Jenny Saville, in conversation with Art Gallery NSW head curator, Justin Paton.
Our guests will also receive a copy of the exhibition catalogue, proudly supported by Sydney Women’s Fund, with stories and interviews by the artists taken especially for this edition.
Monday 16th September 2019
6.00pm – 8.30pm
Art Gallery of New South Wales
$27.50 (incl GST & booking fee)
Here we are features remarkable new acquisitions for the Gallery’s collection by some of the most compelling women artists at work today. Tracing the many and complex forms that ‘we’ can take, their works present human relationships in all their intricacy, pathos and power.
The Sydney Community Foundation Sydney Women’s Fund and The Maybanke Fund are delighted to support the Art Gallery of New South Wales for this special exhibition of women artists.
image: Jenny Saville – Vis and Ramin II 2018 (oil on canvas, 201.6 x 333.7 cm)
The Lewis Collection © Jenny Saville/DACS. Copyright Agency, 2019.
About Jenny Saville
Human perception of the body is so acute and knowledgeable that the smallest hint of a body can trigger recognition.
In her depictions of the human form, Jenny Saville transcends the boundaries of both classical figuration and modern abstraction. Oil paint, applied in heavy layers, becomes as visceral as flesh itself, each painted mark maintaining a supple, mobile life of its own. As Saville pushes, smears, and scrapes the pigment over her large-scale canvases, the distinctions between living, breathing bodies and their painted representations begin to collapse.
Born in 1970 in Cambridge, England, Saville attended the Glasgow School of Art from 1988 to 1992, spending a term at the University of Cincinnati in 1991. Her studies focused her interest in “imperfections” of flesh, with all of its societal implications and taboos. Saville had been captivated with these details since she was a child; she has spoken of seeing the work of Titian and Tintoretto on trips with her uncle, and of observing the way that her piano teacher’s two breasts—squished together in her shirt—became one large mass. While on a fellowship in Connecticut in 1994, Saville was able to observe a New York City plastic surgeon at work. Studying the reconstruction of human flesh was formative in her perception of the body—its resilience, as well as its fragility. Her time with the surgeon fueled her examination into the seemingly infinite ways that flesh is transformed and disfigured. She explored medical pathologies; viewed cadavers in the morgue; examined animals and meat; studied classical and Renaissance sculpture; and observed intertwined couples, mothers with their children, individuals whose bodies challenge gender dichotomies, and more.
A member of the Young British Artists (YBAs), the loose group of painters and sculptors who came to prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Saville reinvigorated contemporary figurative painting by challenging the limits of the genre and raising questions about society’s perception of the body and its potential. Though forward-looking, her work reveals a deep awareness, both intellectual and sensory, of how the body has been represented over time and across cultures—from antique and Hindu sculpture, to Renaissance drawing and painting, to the work of modern artists such as Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning, and Pablo Picasso. In the striking faces, jumbled limbs, and tumbling folds of her paintings, one may perceive echoes of Titian’s Venus of Urbino (c. 1532), Rubens’s Christ in the Descent from the Cross (1612–14), Manet’s Olympia (1863), and faces and bodies culled from magazines and tabloid newspapers. Saville’s paintings refuse to fit smoothly into an historical arc; instead, each body comes forward, autonomous, voluminous, and always refusing to hide.
Here we are exhibition is presented by
Here we are exhibition is proudly supported by
Sydney Women’s Fund
Established in 2006 as a sub-fund of Sydney Community Foundation, Sydney Women’s Fund (SWF) is changing lives for women and girls, growing financial independence and a chance to determine their own future. SWF has 10-years experience applying a gender lens to grantmaking across Sydney.
It’s ‘Portrait’ research forms an evidence base to inform Government; Private Ancillary Funds; Corporates; and Individuals; on resource gaps in social investment in women and girls and guide their granting to greater equality and impact.
With Sydney Women’s Fund support, one social enterprise has become five, providing employment to people in need; a business skills class a retail shop; at-risk youth the first in three generations to finish school; young girls saved from prostitution and empowered to make better life choices; long-term unemployed re-skilled and job ready; domestic violence survivors counselled and supported; refugee women, tortured and traumatised, are gently supported to recovery and a new life with their families in Sydney.
Led and supported by a community of Sydney’s leading professional and business women in philanthropy, SWF invests, inspires and creates opportunities for local women and girls to thrive.
The Maybanke Fund
The Maybanke Fund, a sub-fund of Sydney Community Foundation, honours the work of Maybankeyle Anderson, writer, leader, feminist, early childhood education pioneer and promoter of the rights of women and children in Australia.
The Maybanke Fund connects its community of donors with organisations working to reduce social inequality through education, women’s advocacy and social reform – causes that continue to be as important in the 21st century as they were for Maybanke in 1893.
Community Foundation helps build the Fund for tomorrow and also provides the Maybanke Anderson Scholarship Award for Indigenous students in Education, at Macquarie University.