Still is based on a photograph of a woman's head in a morgue. Her matted hair, like the sagging flesh of her face, falls to one side, pulled downward by the force of gravity. The whole is cast in a beautiful but eerie blue light, and the two round forms at the upper right, presumably examination lights, add a haunting note. Jenny Saville applies her varied palette of oil colors in broad, fluid strokes, building a rich painterly surface she likens to layers of flesh. The creamy textures and opalescent hues seduce the eye yet seem at odds with the gruesome nature of the subject.
Inscription: Signed and dated (verso): Saville 2003
[Gagosian Gallery, New York, 2003; sold in 2003 to private collection]; private collection, Connecticut (2003–6; sale, Sotheby's, New York, November 14, 2006, no. 76; sold to Sosnoff); Martin and Toni Sosnoff, New York (2006–11; their gift to MMA)
New York. Gagosian Gallery. "Jenny Saville: Migrants," April 5–May 3, 2003, unnumbered cat.
Ken Johnson. "Art in Review: Jenny Saville–Migrants." New York Times (April 25, 2003), p. E39.
Linda Nochlin. Jenny Saville: Migrants. Exh. cat., Gagosian Gallery. New York, 2003, unpaginated.
John Gray, ed. Jenny Saville. New York, 2005, pp. 96–97.
Marla Prather in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2010-2012." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70 (Fall 2012), p. 77, ill. (color).