I went to the Paint Made Flesh show at the Phillips collection last weekend specifically to see Jenny Saville’s painting Hyphen. What I didn’t realize was how massive this painting was, it was enormous. The paint is thin, the paint is as thick as frosting on a cake. In several places the thick paint abuts almost sheer canvas with a thick link of paint almost like a curb along a pavement.
If you get close, really close, the painting is almost like an abstract. The flesh is pink and red with many pink tinged greys. But stand far away, it reads so beautifully across the room. It’s glorious.
Ms. Saville was discovered in her late 20s by British collector Saatchi (of the Damon Hirst, shark in Formaldehyde infamy).
I found this image via a google search. The site, Artknowledgenews.com wrote what looked like a very thorough article about the show. Unfortunately the site is in Spanish
The biggest delight and surprise for me was seeing my all time favorite Lucien Freud painting, Naked Man, Back View. It’s of Leigh Bowery and it’s an in your face painting of Leigh from the back. It normally resides in the Metropolitan Museum in New York City and this is the painting that led me to love Freud.
The painting measures 72 1/4 x 54 1/8 in. (183.5 x 137.5 cm) and there isn’t a part of it that hasn’t been rendered thoughtfully and beautifully.
I was unable to photograph it this time, or I would have really tried to show the amazing subtleties in the drape and stool that Leigh is sitting on.
Here is a link to an National Public Radio article on the show as well. If you live in the metro DC area or you plan on being here for the 3-day Labor Day weekend please head over to the Phillip Collection (it’s a museum for those out of town!).
According to their site, the museum will be open Saturday (10am-5pm) and Sunday (11am-6pm). There is an entrance fee of $12. a person but they offer a senior, student or military discount of $2.oo off. If you have any questions you can reach them at 202-387-02151.
If you take the metro to DuPont Circle make sure you leave via Q Street. Also don’t forget that the crazy people running the metro decided to close it from Regan National Airport to the Pentagon City for reasons that baffle mere humans. So, for the first time ever I urge you to avoid the metro like the plague if you’re heading into DC on the blue or yellow lines in Virginia.