Representing the Larger women:
The work of Jenny Saville
By Janice Ashworth

Dissertation submitted for the Degree B.A (Hons) in Art

Media & Design (Fine Art in Context)

Faculty of Art Media and Design

University of the West of England, Bristol

9th February 2001

Fat women are beautiful, at least that is what I believe. But this however, is not supported by the plethora of imagery found everyday in magazines, on television or in our cinemas.  A lot of the representations of modern women do not promote a positive response to the female body. They show women, with very thin almost deformed bodies, which are promoted extensively as the epitome of beauty and health.    Unfortunately many women aspire to these iconic ideals. They show bodies that the average woman can not hope to achieve. They deceive us all into thinking that we are not worth anything, unless we look this way.   In the media images are doctored, removing blemishes and unwanted pounds, to achieve that perfect image, and throughout the ages women have been painted for the pleasure of men, something wonderful to gaze upon and perhaps own.  I am particularly interested in the work of Jenny Saville, because she confronts us with images of women that interrupts the normal expectation of the female form.  She has explored, through experience, her own fears of being a large woman and of not conforming to the perfection that society has come to expect.  As a big woman I have been interested in Jenny Saville’s treatment of this subject for some time. The more I look at her work, the more I am intrigued by her ability to promote a more positive image for larger women.  Her work has inspired me to be more open about the feelings I have about my own body and this in turn has led my own art practice to look at similar issues.

In this dissertation I am going to discuss the work of Jenny Saville.  In particular I want to look at the way she paints images of large women, looking at the quality and style of her painting, and comparing her work to other contemporary artists who’s subject matter is the female body. I intend to show that Miss Saville helps to promote a more positive image of big women. I will present the idea that she challenges the normal ideas of how a female body should appear, allowing us all to be more confident about our own bodies.  I will also be looking at how the female nude body has been modified and manipulated within her images to convey a feminist message about image and self worth. Within the feminist field, I will specifically be looking at issues about painting and gender, and explaining how I believe that Miss Saville should be considered an important feminist artist.

Jenny Saville: a biography

 Jenny Saville was born in Cambridge in 1970. Her mother was a primary school teacher and her father an education administrator. She was encouraged to go to Glasgow School of Art by an Uncle, Paul Saville, who ran the undergraduate arts course at St Clare’s in Oxford. He was also a previous graduate from Glasgow. While studying there, she exhibited in Contemporary ’90 at the Royal College of Art.  After her graduation in 1992, she had a piece of work chosen from her degree show exhibited in Critics Choice at the Cooling Gallery London.  Charles Saatchi saw this, and invited her to produce work for the Saatchi collection.   At the end of January 1994, Jenny Saville exhibited her work at the Saatchi Gallery, London, in Young British Artist III.  After the exhibition, the collectors Susan and Robert Summers sponsored her to work in Connecticut, USA.  Whilst in America, she spent six months in New York observing a team of plastic surgeons.  She has continued to exhibit throughout the world, and in 1999 had her first solo exhibition, which was held at the Gagosian Gallery, New York, entitled Territories. She currently lives and works in London.

Painting and Process
With a financial boom in the1980’s, there was more disposable income available, and so many new pieces of art were bought as investment.  Art that could be easily displayed and bought by individuals and companies helped to bring about a resurgence of painting. This could be viewed by some as a reaction to the experimentation that took place in the 1960’s with the advent of Conceptualism, Land Art, Performance and Body Art. This led in 1981 to German based curator, Christos Joachimedes, to write “Artists’ studios are full of paint pots again”[i]. Saville is a continuing part of this renaissance. She not only paints, but she paints with enthusiasm. She painstakingly researches her subject, not only working from photos of models (quite often her long term boyfriend’s mother and sister), but also her own body. She consults medical records and books and likes to look at how the colours and tones of flesh behave when strained and stretched by fat and the scars left by plastic surgery.  She paints with large confident brush strokes and almost sculpts the paint into the fleshy folds and peaks of skin. Even though she does not paint images of perfection, she seems to be a perfectionist, and sometimes her work is not dry when displayed, with her working on it until the very last possible moment.  She uses oils on massive canvasses, Plan for instance measures 108 x 84 inches.  She quite often has to use ladders and scaffold to reach the top of her paintings. Why does Saville use such large canvases? On this point Alison Rowley speaks of the artist examining herself in these images.  She asks whether Saville worries about her own size and body, making a comparison between Jenny Saville’s own appearance and that of models in Cosmopolitan, she asks if this is the artist commenting on whether her own body occupies too much space.[ii] I am inclined to think that it is a clever device to make the images more powerful and make the audience feel small and insignificant in their presence. Saville herself is quoted as saying “I want intimacy in the paint, to have something huge sounds like the opposite of that, but once you get close up you really see the paint and you loose the edges of the frame.  That is why I love the cinema I love the vastness of it.”[iii] This may go some way to explaining why her images sometimes have an almost theatrical, performance quality.
Saville’s painting have been compared to those of Lucian Freud, sometimes considered to be “Britains greatest figurative painter”[iv]. Walder Januszcak, writing in his 1994 piece As large as life, compares Freud’s work to Jenny Saville’s saying that “the back view of Leigh Bowery in a recent Freud retrospective had the same mountainous expansiveness.”[v]

“And though Lucian Freud is certainly her artistic forebear, Saville makes him seem Quaint.”[vi]. She pushes her images at her audience with an audaciousness that Freud lacks.  There are technical similarities, big brush strokes, texture and strong colour tones, but Freud’s 1998 portrait of the heavily pregnant Jerry Hall, (Fig.4) came in for criticism with the painting being only recognisable by her “nearest an dearest.”[vii] I think that the recognisibility is not the issue, but more that there is not a full understanding of the female body, especially when put under the stresses and strains of pregnancy.   Freud can certainly paint a good portrayal of the female nude, but I think Jenny Saville has a more personal understanding. There is a sensitivity and beauty that I am at a loss to see in any of Freud’s paintings of women. Saville manages to communicate a complete image of a woman.  I agree with Charles Darwent when he say’s that, “If Fulcrum (Fig.5) had been painted by Lucian Freud…you would have felt that its premise was unkind”.[viii] Savilles complete attention to detail, and the enormous amount of research she does, allows her not only to produce a good portrait, but also to show a complex understanding of the issues that affect women.


Plan (Fig.6), by Jenny Saville, is an immense oil painting. The image of a naked woman looks down on you with the face of a “5ft 2” fresh- faced lower sixth-former”[ix]. Even though she paints from models, the subject is herself. In Plan, her face is the one looking down on you. She is not ashamed of this body and openly looks at the viewer. The wide-angle aspect gives a wonderful view of the expanse of stomach, which the contour lines are drawn on to, indicating the desired body form to be ‘enhanced’ by a plastic surgeon.
This is not an image that is seductive, but forces huge amounts of flesh at you. The viewer is too small in comparison to scale these mounds of flesh, let alone seduce them[x]. The heavily impastoed paint helps build up layers of beautiful flesh.  Saville sometimes paints in the nude, so her relationship with, and understanding of female flesh is real.  Even the medium and the way that Saville works seems to contradict tradition. Paint has long been held as a bastion of the male figurative artist. Saville admits, “ Painting is such a male dominated activity; I decided never to paint again…. I did photo and installation work, but in the end I felt starved”.[xi] She challenges the way in which we perceive the relationship between artist and model, by placing herself in the pictures that she paints. However, I do not believe that these are just self-portraits.  They are statements about how women see their own bodies, they allow the viewer to understand how women look at themselves.   
 “She presents a psychology of rejection, the rejection felt by overweight women as a result of 20th-century attitudes to the female body.  Her intention is to subvert a centuries old tradition of male artists as voyeurs of the female flesh by blurring the artist-model relationship.”[xii]


                A Challenge to the perfect female form
To challenge society’s notions of the perfect female image, we must first look at the reasons for our modern obsession with it.  There is an assumption that anyone who is fat has no will power and lacks self-control. This is not only seen as a character flaw, but also as an insult, making it seem that all large people are not attractive or desirable in western society.  I agree with comedienne Dawn French, who has come to the conclusion that “Images of fat in the 1990’s [take] two forms: parody or pornography.”[xiii] In the dictionary the word fat means excessively plump, but in reality it has become a word that conjures up images of ugly, stupid people. The term overweight has become a way to describe anyone who is over a size 12, even though everyone’s weight is as individual as their personalities. After all, who is to say what is the right weight for a particular person, to know whether someone is overweight or not. We are used to seeing images of the thin female body as an object of desire, so it is no surprise that the media use pictures of women to sell, and with this they promote an ideal image that subconsciously makes people think that is how they should look. In a society obsessed with looking young and beautiful, this causes an enormous pressure on women to conform to this stereotypical image of beauty and idealism. As Jenny Saville says “We are bombards with images of females, of different sorts of female bodies, or what we think are different, but there actually seems to be quite a narrow definition of how a female body should behave”[xiv]. Women’s bodies are made to look small, even when they are supposed to be showing support for the larger woman. In the recent Marks and Spencer’s advertising campaign, to promote clothes for the larger sized woman, the model is pushed over to one side, and a large expanse of space has been left, with no reference points that allow us to compare and make our own judgement about her size.   As psychologist Judy Matthews, in her study of community action has noted, social identity is partly determined by, “the physical and spatial constituents of the groups’ environment that is to say: space defines the people in it”[xv].  Surveys have shown that in America, where over half the population is considered overweight, that “from nursery school through college…fat students experience ostracism, discouragement and sometimes violence.”[xvi] With this intolerance promoted from such an early age, we have to ask where this discrimination comes from. I believe that the media and advertising industries has to admit a certain amount of responsibility. It is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid advertising images where space for the body is limited. The industry expects the female body in particular to take up as little  space as possible, promoting a small delicate form, that in some way transfers its desirability to the company or object that is being sold. This is especially true now that objects, such as computers and telephones, are in demand because of their tiny size.  This tendency to miniaturise many of these objects and refer to them as ‘sexy and sleek’, reinforces this trend. Also worryingly, individuals are made to share space, either with other people, text, or desirable objects.  One object or person always seems to be controlling.  This could be a dominance by a commodity, but it could be that  “a women may be ‘muted’ relative to her husband”[xvii], partner, or father. In seeing all these images that do not give individuals sufficient space, are we making assumptions about, not just physical size, but also the superiority over women?  Jenny Saville fills her space with women, “ We are always trying to take our bodies in and make the frame as narrow as possible”[xviii], but in allowing them to not only fill, but overflow the canvas, they exceed the space allocated to them, which allows them to dominate their surroundings.   In 1994, hearing that Charles Saatchi had put frames around her pictures she said, “Now that’s not the point, the figures are supposed to challenge the edges of the canvas. Putting a boundary around them just get them wrong”.[xix]
Jenny Saville is by no means the only artist that deals with these issues. The exhibition Real Women in September 2000, was trying to redress the imbalance of female representation by showing photographs of women of all ages, sizes and shapes.[xx] Ingrid Hofer said, “Working with these extraordinary women was very fulfilling.  There was no feeling of competition, beauty was not defined by certain physical features.”[xxi] I particularly liked the work of artist Jo Broughton who photographed herself next to other women, in the hope of showing how women’s imperfections make them individuals.[xxii](fig.7)


Modifying bodies
Continually, Saville addresses the issues associated with cosmetic plastic surgery. Whilst in America, she felt that this type of plastic surgery was almost a necessity, “there is a definite feeling that these people are unwell, that surgery will make them better”[xxiii]. So she continued an idea that had started when she was at art school. She used to see a friend drawing on her leg where she wanted her body to end. This started Saville looking at, and questioning how the media approached the female body.[xxiv] She started to experiment with smearing paint onto glass in order to make the body look cut up.  This led to her laying her naked body on perspex sheets and photographing it from underneath. Using Polaroids to see instant results and then manipulating her body to get the images she wanted, not only did she end up bruised and battered, but with 3,000 images, 17 of which were made into large photographic prints (Figs.8, 11 & 12). The results are distorted, brutal images.  Obviously she could not do this by herself, so she teamed up with Glen Luchford a fashion photographer.  He could perhaps be seen as the ‘enemy’, as his usual work is to produce the type of images that Saville is trying to counter. Together they have produced breathtaking images and “as with her previous work, it provokes a sense of wanting to look away and at the same time a disbelief that keeps you looking”.[xxv] We are used to seeing parts of our body in certain places.  In this series of photographs, things we take for granted are moved and misshapen, and looking at them contorted in this manner changes our view of the body.   In these pictures she has shown how the body can be manipulated and reorganised in a way that the audience would not expect, making the body look almost diseased[xxvi] and in need of corrective surgery.


Branded, another colossal image of a naked woman by Saville, reminds us of the relationship between fatness and plastic surgery. In the paint she cuts both literally and metaphorically into the flesh.  Alison Rowley likens this work to Jo Spences’ Exiled  (Fig.10) making comparisons with the writing on the flesh in Branded (Fig.9).
“ I looked at the words drawn into the paint following the form of the woman’s body in Branded and thought angrily:  how dare you employ as a rhetorical device words, which in Spence’ case she actually wrote on her own ill, ageing, working class body to both confront us with, and to defend herself from our judgement of it? It seemed to me horribly insensitive, insulting almost, and Jo Spence no longer here to comment on ion it.”[27


                        Fig.9                                                                                  Fig.10
I think that any comparison to Jo Spence should be seen as adulation. Using inspiration from another artist’s work is a postmodern idea, recycling themes to enrich the meaning is, I think flattering.  This concept has grown out of the recognition a few decades earlier that the meaning of art can arise out of a particular context, consequently art has become more social and political.
Jenny Saville explores the way that people’s views about a person can change through the alteration of physical appearance. She took casts of large women and molded them in latex into prostheses that she then attached to her own body. She wanted to feel what it was like to carry this extra weight and to see how it affected the use of her body. These images were captured on photographs. She noted a change in the supposition that people made about her physicality. “When I stuck my jaw to my neck it changed my character so much… you started to make assumptions about my character, my mouth had dropped and my jaw had dropped and in someway I was loosing my intelligence”.[xxviii]  This is interesting, as it shows the whole attitude about fat is not just about women’s overall health, but also about the speculation of how it is seen to affect their mental capacity.  In a recent survey detailed in the New York Times, it was found that students surveyed would prefer to marry an embezzler, a cocaine user, a shoplifter or a blind person rather than an obese person. But also more worrying was that 16 per cent of the general American population would abort a child if they knew in advance that it would be untreatably obese.[xxix] Jenny Saville treats this issue with some compassion, allowing the viewer a more personal insight into the beauty that is inherent in all of us, no
matter what our size.


Jenny Saville: the feminist
I believe that Jenny Saville is an important feminist artist.  She works with paint on canvas. This is unusual because many female artists shy away from these traditional materials, using other means to get their message across: Judy Chicago uses installation, Barbra Kruger text and Jo Spence photography.  In the last few decades, feminist writers and artists have been trying to challenge the way that traditionally the male has dominated the representation of the female nude, particularly in painting.  Art historians and critics have often referred to ‘Old Masters’ when talking of great painters, but this makes it a very definite masculine process.

“In some of the pictures, Ms Saville literally spells out her feminist message in words scrawled across the bodies of her models. This seems to me as unnecessary as it is distracting because the images are strong enough to stand on their own. But this is no place for carping I often complain that I can never find figurative painters who measure up to the only possible standard against which one can judge them, the old masters.  Saville is an exception.”[xxx]

I agree with the view that in painting “the notion of genius is gender specific.”[xxxi] The myth of artists like Jackson Pollock reinforces the masculinity of the painter/artist. Modernist art history has not always acknowledged a female contribution, so this myth has continued through the writings of critics like Clement Greenburg, which are still extensively referred to. Feminist art critics and artists such as Mary Kelly, Lucy Lippard, Griselda Pollock and Rozsika Parker have written articles and books covering this subject in the hope of challenging this tradition. In Mary Kelly’s 1981 Screen article Re-viewing Modernist Criticism, she says that

“ The woman artist ‘sees’ her experience as a woman particularly in terms of the ‘feminine position,’ as object of the look, but she must also account for the ‘feeling’ she experiences as an artist, occupying the ‘masculine’ position as subject of the look.  The former she defines as the socially prescribed position of the woman, one to be questioned, exorcised or overthrown… while the implications of the latter (that there can be only one position with regard to the active looking and that is masculine) cannot be acknowledged and is construed instead as a kind of psychic truth – a natural, instinctual, preexistent, and essential femininity.”[xxxii]

Saville has admitted to feeling guilty about using paint. She says that “life these days moves too quickly for painting… and it is burdened with hundreds of years of manipulating the medium. Painting nudes, in particular, is like wearing a heavy coat – it is difficult to move around in.”[xxxiii]   Marsha Meskimmon, in her 1996 article The Monstrous and the Grotesque: on the politics of excess in women’s self-portraiture, goes even further saying that there is an implication “that the work of a woman artist, and indeed the woman as an artist, is inherently monstrous and grotesque”.[xxxiv] With the history behind painting, I believe that Jenny Saville is talented and brave enough to use this medium successfully to express feminist issues, especially with regards to the female nude.
Naomi Wolf, in the Beauty Myth, says that it is no accident that there is a powerful backlash against feminism.  Images of female beauty are used as a political weapon, keeping women vulnerable and in need of approval.[xxxv] We have to use images to try to redress this, but how?  Alison Rowley says that feminist and figurative painting can become a problem, turning feminism into either a sub category of figurative painting or a fattist issue[xxxvi].  She also feels that feminism is a temporary phase that Miss Saville will grow out of, when her talents with a brush and paint become more confident and skillful.[xxxvii]  I agree that her skills are developing fast, and that she is becoming a very talented figurative painter. I am however, inclined to think that Saville as a woman, who has chosen the naked female form as her theme, is captivated enough by her subject to continue with these ideas that she explores so successfully. I also think that as a woman painter, issues around paint and gender will always be important to her. Saville’s paintings are, I believe, a tool that tries to counter this political backlash, giving women the power and making them strong and assured, whilst at the same time challenging the masculinity of painting.
In looking at individual pieces of Savilles work, we can see a very definite feminist interest. Propped (Fig.14) by Saville, painted in 1992 shows a huge woman precariously perched on a pedestal.  The hands are clawing at the large amounts of flesh of her thighs and scratched into the paint is a quotation by the French Feminist, Luce Irigaray.  “If we continue to speak in the sameness, speak as men have spoken for centuries, we will fail each other again words will pass through our bodies above our heads disappear, make us disappear”. This is not the usual image of a woman put high on a pedestal, it is confrontational  “part flirtatious, part defiant, [and] part self loathing.”[xxxviii]
 Her most recent painting, Host, (fig.13) is unusually not a painting of a woman.  However when I first saw it I felt that it definitely dealt with the same issues.  You are confronted with a large pig’s stomach, which is very reminiscent of the large bellies on her previous paintings.  Again a very large canvas is filled, but this time the head and feet of the animal are outside the frame, not allowing the viewer to be initially aware of the subject matter. The meticulously painted teats are the only clue and give away the origin of the beast.

The same subtle skin tones and heavy paint are used in the style which we have come to expect of the artist. This tricks the audience into thinking that this is, in fact, another female body. In using this subject, she is confronting us with “numerous inspirations, a reproduction from the National Geographical, a surreal novel titled Pigtails, about a girl who turns into a pig, and Savilles obsessive preoccupation with cosmetic surgery and medical text books…Drawing parallels between a squealing piglet and a pubescent girl”[xxxix]. The title Host is very interesting, as it has many connotations.   There is an obvious link to childbirth and also to the bread consecrated in the Eucharist, and the inevitable association to the body and blood. But I want to think that it is a reference to the idea of a parasite living off another living thing, referring to plastic surgery, silicone implants and the use of animal tissue in such procedures.
I disagree with some of the criticism thrown at Jenny Saville, Financial Times art critic William Packer feels that the feminist and fattist issues overshadow her abilities as an artist.[xl]  But I believe that her abilities, rather than diminish these issues, help to bring them to the fore.  She is developing into a great artist who not only paints with extraordinary confidence and ability, but she also gets a message across to those people who believe that women should be portrayed in a certain way.

From the first moment that I really saw a Jenny Saville painting I was inspired. Not only was she showing me that I was not the only person to have a mountainous stomach, but that it was acceptable to show it, with all its imperfections, in public.   I think that she helps us all to see that the human body is not uniform and that one particular look is not right or wrong. She shows us that fat is not ugly, just different.  Susan Orbach wrote “Fat is not about lack of self control or will power. Fat is about protection, sex, nutrance, strength, boundaries, mothering, sustenance, assertion and rage”.[xli] All of which are confronted in Saville’s images.   As a woman with a larger body I am instantly drawn to these images, they may not wholly represent all that is good about being large, but they portray the essence and spirit of the conflict that surrounds them.  Some of the facial expressions in her paintings are quite hard and threatening, I see this as a positive confrontation to all those in a society obsessed with the idea that thin is beautiful. I think any woman seeing these images could relate to the issues they raise. I do however go some way to agreeing with Marsha Meskimmon who points out that these images are in danger of becoming carnival and perhaps even freakish.[xlii] Nevertheless these portraits address the conflict that we impose on ourselves: wanting to conform, but at the same time wanting to love ourselves for what we are.  I think it is important for her to continue to produce these ground breaking images, even if a few people dismiss her paintings as curiosities.
I have shown the way that Jenny Saville is seen in the context of feminist art.  As a female figurative painter she is challenging the dominance by men in this field, especially with regards to the female nude. She dares to object to the notion that genius is gender specific, and that women artists can never be great in the field of painting.
 My initial statement that fat is beautiful is a reality in Jenny Savilles work.  She allows us to see what we all seem to fear, and it is not as ugly as we are led to believe. I wish that more artists and photographers would take this approach, adding to the wealth of feminist images that interrupt, as Jenny Saville has, the iconic representations of the female nude body.

List of Illustrations

Title and source

by Jenny Saville. 2000
Oil on Canvas 108 x 144 inches

Title Page
Saville’s Paintings at the Saatchi Gallery
Creative Camera. June/July 1995
Page 26/27

by Jenny Saville. 1992
Oil on Canvas 48 x 40 inches
Generations and geographies in the visual arts, Feminist readings edited by Griselda Pollock, Routledge London 1996. Page99

Eight months gone
by  Lucian Freud.
6 x 4 inches
The Daily Telegraph. Wed June 3 1998

by Jenny Saville, 2000
Oil on Canvas 103 x 193 inches
The Saatchi Gallery London (Postcard)
Photographer: Robert McKeever

Jenny Saville in front of Plan
by Glynn Griffiths
Oil on Canvas 108 x 84 inches
Generations and geographies in the visual arts, Feminist readings edited by Griselda Pollock, Routledge London 1996. Page89

Jo Broughton
Real Women exhibition catalogue. 2000

Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford. Photographs
Creative Camera. June/July 1995
Page 25

by Jenny Saville.1992
Oil on Canvas, 84 x 72 inches
Generations and geographies in the visual arts, Feminist readings edited by Griselda Pollock, Routledge London 1996. Page 90

by Jo Spence. undated
Generations and geographies in the visual arts, Feminist readings edited by Griselda Pollock, Routledge London 1996. Page 91

Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford. Photographs
Creative Camera. June/July 1995
Page 24

Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford. Photographs
Creative Camera. June/July 1995
Page 29

by Jenny Saville. 2000
Saatchi Gallery London (postcard)
Oil on Canvas 120 x 180 inches
Photograph: prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

by Jenny Saville 1992
Oil on canvas 84 x 108 inches
Saatchi Gallery London (postcard)

Solo Exhibitions:
Territories, Gagosian Gallery, New York (SoHo), NY
Group Exhibitions:
The Nude in Contemporary Art, The Aldridge Museum of Art, Ridgefield,
Extensions of the Body—Aspects of the Figure, Joseloff Gallery, University
of Hartford, Hartford, CT
Close Echoes—Public Bodies and Artificial Space, Kunsthalle, Prague,
Czech Republic
The Ugly Show, Bracknell Arts Center, Leeds, England; Metropolitan
University, Leeds, England
Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, Royal
Academy of the Arts, London, England, From the Interior, Kingston
University, London, England; Brighton City Art Gallery, Brighton,
England; Ferrens Gallery, Hull, England.  Traveled to: Hamburger
Bahnhof, Germany, Berlin; Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY

Jenny Saville/Glen Luchford: A Collaboration, Pace McGill Gallery, New
York, NY
Bad Blood, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, Scotland
Contemporary British Art ’96, Museum of Kalmar, Stockholm, Sweden
American Passion, McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, Scotland; Royal College
of Art, London, England
 The Continuing Tradition: 75 Years of Painting, Glasgow School of Art,
Glasgow, Scotland
Young British Artists III, Saatchi Gallery, London, England
SSA, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland
Critics Choice, Cooling Gallery, London, England
Contemporary ’90, Royal College of Art, London, England
National Portrait Competition, National Portrait Gallery, London, England
Self Portraits, The Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Scotland





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Big really does mean beautiful.
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 Juler, Caroline   July 1994
The Chocolate Fountain.
Everywoman , page 30.

 Jury, Louise  30 January 2000
Saatchi aims to make another Sensation.
The Independent on Sunday.

Kane, Pat  23 January 1994
A Full Body of Work.
The Observer, page 7.

Kent, Sarah  February 2-9 1994

Young onesYoung British III.
Time out page 2-3.

Kuspit, Donald  December 1999
Jenny Saville, Gagosian Gallery.
Art Forum, page 147.

Lister, David 9 December 1998
BritArt’s big day out.
The Independent

Mikail, Kate  7 July 1998
Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.
The Independent,
Miller, Segio  1994
Meaty Issues.
Art Review, April issue, Page 18.

Murphy, Anna  3 September 2000
An obsession with bodily extremes.
The Sunday Telegraph.

Nead, Lynda  May/June 1994,
Caught in the act of staring on the body politics for the 1990’s.
Women’s art magazine No.58.  Pages 18-19.

Rawlings, Lila   20 April 2000
The Body Beautiful.
The List, page 7.

Reynolds, Nigel  1998
A Freudian analysis of Jerry Hall
The Daily Telegraph June 3rd 1998

Sylvester,  David  January 30 1994
Areas of Flesh.
Independent on Sunday, page 18.

Treneman, Ann  1998
Vile bodies: sick sensationalism or life as art. 
The independent 24 March 1998



Propped(Jenny Saville 1992)
The arena 100,

Arning, Bill
Body Politics.
Time Out New York. http//www.timeout.com/art/198/198.art.nude.opm.html

Bolt-Hayman, Joanna

Ant noises are loud.

French, Dawn
Dawn French on Big women – http://members.tripod.co.uk/cmarshall/big.html

Kardon, Dennis 
A Painters Progress
Artnet.com Magazine feature. http://www4.artnet.com/Magazine/features/kardon/kardon10-26-99.asp

Kardon, Dennis

A Painters Progress.
Meskimmon, Marsha
The Monstrous and the Grotesque: On the politics of excess in women’s self portraiture. Published by “Make: the magazine of women’s art”, Oct/Nov 1996, pp. 6-11

Silverstein, Joel
Women Painters

Gallery Catalogues

De Cruz, Gemma  2000
Ant Noises II
writing accompanying The Saatchi Gallery exhibition

Kent, Sarah
Young British Artists III
Saatchi Gallery Catalogues

Foster, Tina   2000
Real Women
Exhibition catalogue for AKA on West Central st, London. September


Channnel 4  Transmitted, 23 & 30 March 1998

Vile Bodies  naked and kids, Jenny Saville talking on the Video, Vile Bodies,Naked and kids. Transmitted , 23& 30th March 1998.


[i]  Art Since the 1960’s by Michael Archer Thames and Hudson 1997. Pp 145
[ii] Alison Rowley, Generations and geographies in the visual arts,Page 88 Routledge, London, 1996.
[iii]  Anna Murphy, An obsession with bodily extremes. The Sunday Telagraph. 3 September 2000
[iv] Alison Rowley, Generations and geographies in the visual arts,Page 88 Routledge, London, 1996.
[v] As Large as life by Walder Januszcak. The Sunday Times 31 July 1994. Pages 12/28
[vi] A Painters Progress by Dennis Kardon. Artnet.com Magazine feature. http://www4.artnet.com/Magazine/features/kardon/kardon10-26-99.asp
[vii] A Freudian analysis of Jerry Hall by Nigel Reynolds. The Daily Telegraph June 3rd 1998
[viii] Big really does mean beautiful Jenny Saville talks to Charles Darwent. Independent on Sunday 16 April 2000
[ix]  Alison Rowley in Representations of the female body.page 88. Routledge, London 1996
[x] Sarah Kent Young British Artist III  Saatchi Gallery
[xi]  Alison Rowley Representations of the female body. Page 15,Edinburgh University Press, The Fruit Market Gallery.
[xii] Sergio Miller in Arts review April 1994. Page 18.
[xiii] Dawn French on Big women – http://members.tripod.co.uk/cmarshall/big.html
[xiv] Vile Bodies,Naked and kids. Transmitted Channel 4, 23& 30th March 1998.
[xv] Women and Space ground rules and social maps. Edited by Shirley Ardener.  Berg Oxford 1993 taken from Matthews, J. A. Environment change and community Identity, paper delivered at Conference on Threatened identities, under the auspices of the British Psychological Society Oxford, April 1980. Page 2.
[xvi] National Education Association position paper, taken from, Citing Intolerance, obese people take steps to press cause. New york Times November 5th 2000.
[xvii]Shirley Ardener Women and Space Ground Rules and social maps. .  Berg Oxford 1993 taken from Matthews, J. A. Environment change and community Identity, paper delivered at Conference on Threatened identities, under the auspices of the British Psychological Society Oxford, April 1980. Page 2.
[xviii] Jenny Saville talking on the Video, Vile Bodies,Naked and kids. Transmitted Channel 4, 23& 30th March 1998.
[xix] A full body of work by Pat Kane. The Observer 23 January 1994 Page 7.
[xx] Real Women exhibition catalogue 2000, Introduction
[xxi] Ingred Hofer in the Real Women exhibition catalogue
[xxii] Jo Broughton in the Real Women exhibition catalogue
[xxiii] The Body Beautiful  - The List 7-12 April 1995
[xxiv] Treneman, Ann.  Visual arts: Vile bodies: sick sensationalism or life as art.  The independent 24 March 1998.
[xxv] The Body Beautiful  - The List 7-12 April 1995
[xxvi]Jenny Saville talking on  Video, Vile Bodies,Naked and kids. Transmitted Channel 4, 23& 30th March 1998.
[xxvii] Alison Rowley  , Generations and Geographies in the visual arts. Page 90. Routledge, London , 1996
[xxviii] Jenny Saville talking on the Video, Vile Bodies,Naked and kids. Transmitted Channel 4, 23& 30th March 1998
[xxix] Citing Intolerance, obese people take steps to press cause,by Carey Golberg, November5, 2000.
[xxx] Dorment, Richard. Virtuoso mountains of quivering flesh. The Daily Telegraph 9 Feb 1994.
[xxxi] Rosika Parker and Griselda Pollock, edited and introduced Framing Feminism Art and the womens movement 1970-1985, Pandora 1987 pp  xiii
[xxxii]Screen Vol,22 no 3 LONDON Autum 1981 pages 41-62. Edited by Charles Harrison and Paul Wood in Art in Theory 1900-1990, Blackwell 1992.
[xxxiii] Anna Murphy.  An obsession with bodily extremes. The Sunday Telegraph 3 September 2000
[xxxiv] Marsha Meskimmon The montrous and Grotesque: On the polotics of excess in women’s self portraiture, Published in “Make the magazine of womens art” Oct/Nov 1996 pp. 6-11. Obtain of the internet site. www.varoregistry.com/articles/monst.html
[xxxv]The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf Chatto & Windus, London 1990
[xxxvi]  On viewing three paintings by Jenny Saville: rethinking a feminist practice of painting by Alison Rowley in Generations and Geographies in the visual arts edited by Griselda Pollock, Routledge London 1996.page 89
[xxxvii] On viewing three paintings by Jenny Saville: rethinking a feminist practice of painting by Alison Rowley in Generations and Geographies in the visual arts edited by Griselda Pollock, Routledge London 1996.Page 92
[xxxviii] Alison Rowley in Representations of the female body.page 88. Routledge, London 1996
[xxxix] Gemma De Cruz, writing accompanying The Saatchi Gallery exhibition Ant Noises II
[xl] Dorment, Richard. Virtuoso mountains of quivering flesh. The Daily Telegraph 9 Feb 1994.
[xli] Quoted by David Cohen in Three young artists, Modern Painters, Spring 1994. Page 88-90
[xlii] Marsha Meskimmon The monstrous and Grotesque: On the politics of excess in women’s self portraiture, Published in “Make the magazine of women’s art” Oct/Nov 1996 pp. 6-11. Obtain of the internet site. www.varoregistry.com/articles/monst.html