Artist: Jenny Saville (British, born Cambridge 1970)

Date: 2003

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 108 x 144 1/8 in. (274.3 x 366.1 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Martin and Toni Sosnoff, 2011

Accession Number: 2011.516

Rights and Reproduction: © Jenny Saville


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.