“Situational: The Body in Contemporary Painting”

“Situational: The Body in Contemporary Painting”

San Francisco Art Institute

Jenny Saville, Red Fates, 2018. Oil on canvas; 94 1/2 x 102 3/8 x 1 5/8 inches. © Jenny Saville. Photo: Mike Bruce. Courtesy the artist and Gagosian.

January 10, 2019
“Situational: The Body in Contemporary Painting”
Featuring Jenny Saville in conversation with Claudia Schmuckli
February 9, 2019, 10am
SFAI—Chestnut Street Campus
800 Chestnut Street
Osher Lecture Hall
San Francisco CA
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“During times of social and political strife, individual liberty and cultural ethics are contested through issues of the body. In that respect, a robust interest in figurative painting has intensified over the past few years alongside artist’s renewed purpose in painting people.

Situational: The Body in Contemporary Painting” is a one-day symposium that will address what constitutes a contemporary body, how pressing issues are being translated rhetorically through the body, and the diverse artistic vantage points situated within figurative painting today.” 
—Brett Reichman, Symposium Chair

On February 9, 2019, the Painting Department at San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) will be hosting a symposium on the subject of contemporary figurative painting, featuring renowned British artist Jenny Saville in conversation with Claudia Schmuckli, Curator-in-Charge of Contemporary Art and Programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Known for her monumental paintings of flesh from a feminist perspective, Saville has continually redefined the body politic in painting for the past 25 years. In addition, panel discussions will be delivered on a range of subjects by artists and professors in art practice and history, submitting their distinct perceptions about the wide-ranging and paradoxical state of corporeality through the painted image.

Get ticketsFree and open to the public with RSVP.


Keynote address: Artist Jenny Saville in conversation with Claudia Schmuckli, Curator-in-Charge of Contemporary Art and Programming for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Captivated by the endless aesthetic and formal possibilities of the materiality of the human body, Jenny Saville makes a highly sensuous and tactile impression of surface and mass in her monumental oil paintings. Subjects are imbued with a sculptural yet elusive dimensionality that verges on the abstract. In recent paintings, she renews her enduring figurative investigations by depicting bodies embracing and intertwined.

Jenny Saville was born in 1970 in Cambridge, England. She received her BA Honors Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art, Scotland. Recent solo museum exhibitions include Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2005); Norton Museum of Art, Florida (2011, traveled to the Museum of Modern Art Oxford, England, through 2012); “Jenny Saville Drawing,” Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom (2015–16); and “Now: Jenny Saville,” Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh (2018). Saville’s works are featured in several public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Broad, Los Angeles; and Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. Saville’s work was included in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. Saville currently lives and works in Oxford, United Kingdom.

Claudia Schmuckli is the inaugural Curator-in-Charge of Contemporary Art and Programming at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Since joining the Museums in 2016, she has developed exhibitions and commissions with Sarah Lucas, Urs Fischer, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Leonardo Drew, DIS, and Ranu Mukherjee and acquired works by The Propeller Group, Carrie Mae Weems, Tony Feher, Jessica Stockholder, and Terry Adkins. Previously, she was Director and Chief Curator of the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston, where she organized over 30 exhibitions including solo shows dedicated to Matthew Ronay, Analia Saban, Slavs and Tatars,Candice Breitz, Tony Feher, Johan Grimonprez, Gabriel Kuri, Chantal Akerman, and Amy Sillman among many others. Schmuckli began her career in New York as a Curatorial Assistant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and an Assistant Curator at the Museum of Modern Art. She holds a Master of Arts degree in art history from the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany.

Panel discussions:
Brett Reichman
, Associate Professor of Painting, SFAI: “Queer Bodies: Hyper-spatialization”
Taravat Talepasand, Assistant Professor of Painting, SFAI: “Body Politics From The Middle East”
Claire Daigle, Associate Professor of History + Theory of Contemporary Art, SFAI: “Skin (Scratch, Strip, Scumble, Slather)”
Christine Tien Wang, Assistant Professor of Painting, CCA: “Internet Memes: Irony and Identity”

This symposium is sponsored by San Francisco Art Insitute (SFAI)The Broad, and XL Catlin.

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San Francisco Art Institute
January 10, 2019

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