Jenny Saville in Florence, an extraordinary itinerary in the “houses” of ancient Florentine history

“Metamorphosis” by Beatrice Brandini

Jenny Saville in front of her monumental work “Fulcrum”

From 30 September 2021 to 20 February 2022, Florence will host one of the greatest living painters, a prominent figure in the international art scene, leading representative of the Gogosian gallery, supporter and partner of the project together with the Municipality of Florence and MUS.E.

Press conference by “Jenny Saville” inside the Salone del Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio

Jenny Saville “Fulcrum”, 1999 @ Salone Cinquecento Palazzo Vecchio

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021  Collezione privata. Courtesy Gagosian

Jenny Saville with Sergio Risaliti, curator of the project

The exhibition, conceived and curated by Sergio Risaliti (director of the Museo del Novecento), will transform Florence into a refined artistic stage, involving some of the major museums of the city, such as the Museum of Palazzo Vecchio, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Museo degli Innocenti and Casa Buonarroti.

Jenny Saville @ Museo Buonarroti

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021

Jenny Saville @ Museo del Novecento

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021

It will be very interesting to see how this artist, very close to the Italy in which she also lived, will dialogue with the prestige of the Florentine past. Her monumental works, with their personal figurative language, will confront the masters of the Italian Renaissance, above all with the great masterpieces of Michelangelo.

“Odysseus”, 2020-21 by Jenny Saville @ Museo del Novecento

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021. Collezione privata. Courtesy Gagosian

Jenny Saville @ Museo del Novecento

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021

In the rooms of the Museo del Novecento, an important series of paintings and drawings are exhibited, ranging from the early 2000s to the present day. A showcase overlooking the square will be opened in the external loggia of the museum, where we can admire Rosetta II, a large-format painting created between 2000 and 2006.

View of the exhibition hall of the Museo del Novecento

Triptych by Jenny Saville @ Museo del Novecento

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021

In the Salone del Cinquecento is exhibited the work of greatest impact and fame, Fulcrum, from 1998 – 99, a work that definitively consecrated the artist. I saw it at the press conference and I assure you that it is a work whose impact is very strong, also thanks to its location, namely the one inside the impressive hall.

Jenny Saville “Rosetta II”, 2055 @ Museo del Novecento

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021. Collezione privata. Courtesy dell’artista and Gagosian

Jenny Saville “Gestation”, 2017 @ Museo Buonarroti

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021

In general, the project poses precisely this challenge, namely that of talking, discussing and asking questions also thanks to the contrast between ancient and modern, classicism and contemporaneity. Specifically, here the frescoes created by Vasari and the sculptures by Michelangelo, converse with this monumental work, whose representation of three female bodies reversed, oppressed or forced by a dramatic embrace, transmits the same drama and the same pain of the Battle of Anghiari.

Jenny Saville “Study for Pentimenti III”, 2011

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021

Also in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo the dialogue between Saville and Michelangelo will be gratifying. In the room where the Pietà Bandini (1547 -1555) is kept there is a large-format drawing, Study of Pietà, created by the London artist after an inspection in Florence in 2021. With this work, Saville condemns all types of human violence, her message of pietas is dramatically current.

Also at the Museo degli Innocenti the female figure of The Mothers (2011) dialogues with the Madonna and Child (1445) by Luca della Robbia and with the Madonna and Child with an Angel by Botticelli (1465). Five centuries have passed but the message of welcoming and protecting children (even Brunelleschi with his project – museum welcomed abandoned children) is still universal.

Dario Nardella hands over the keys of the city to Jenny Saville

The exhibition itinerary of this extraordinary exhibition ends at Casa Buonarroti, where in the place of memory and celebration of Michelangelo, Saville’s drawings are found, which are a clear homage to Michelangelo’s genius.

Jenny Saville “Study for the Eyes of Argus”, 2021

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021. Courtesy dell’artista e di Gagosian

I have adored this artist for many years, considered the heir of the “London School”, Saville, just like Bacon and Lucian Freud, crosses the boundary between figurative and abstract, as well as that between expressionism and informal. The images of her are very powerful, they cannot leave the viewer indifferent, sometimes they are a punch in the stomach, but even when they are “brutal” they are very poetic and beautiful. Jenny Saville mixes history of art and archeology, photos and newspaper clippings, classicism and news, with no holds barred between beauty but also degradation. For this reason her works are also extraordinarily modern.

Jenny Saville, charcoal

© Jenny Saville. Tutti i diritti riservati, DACS 2021

The artist’s subjects have classical influences, her nude covers or her motherhood are represented in poses that recall Etruscan stature or Renaissance models. In fact, her enormous depictions of shapely and naked bodies, with material brushstrokes, are famous, also reminiscent of Titian women.

Jenny Saville explores the human body as if it were under a giant magnifying glass, and which today, obsessed with physical appearance, is a more current thought than ever. 

Jenny Saville

We were hit by the Covid pandemic in an inexorable and dramatic way, but we were also capable of great resilience … Here, in my opinion, beyond its immense artistic value, this exhibition project is also important for this, in the faces and bodies of Jenny Saville I have rediscovered this message, the ability to live with suffering but also to react to it.

Good life to everyone!

Beatrice

 

Un commento su “Jenny Saville in Florence, an extraordinary itinerary in the “houses” of ancient Florentine history

  1. I read your post a few minutes ago and I can’t help but write to thank you and tell you that your artistic dissemination is, for those who follow your blog, like me, a great gift.

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