Jenny Saville: In Studio

Jenny Saville, Atonement Studies: Central Panel (Rosetta), 2005-06 (c) 2012 Jenn
Jenny Saville, Atonement Studies: Central Panel (Rosetta), 2005-06 (c) 2012 Jenny Saville (courtesy Gagosian Gallery)

Rachel Cooke visits the studio of painter Jenny Saville whose work is on view at Modern Art Oxford and the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, from June 23 - September 16, 2012.

Cooke writes: "...out of the corner of my eye, I see it. A portrait: a woman, her neck at a difficult angle, her head tipped back, her unseeing eyes a pair of cloudy marbles (I know without being told that the model who sat for this work is blind). Now I'm not so cosy. The trick of the painting, the reason it is so hard to pull one's gaze from it, lies with the way it captures its subject's extrasensory watchfulness... It's uncanny. If I heard its subject softly breathing, I would hardly be surprised."