21 Jan-1 May 2005. This is the first Italian showing of works by the young British artist currently acclaimed by critics and collectors as the new exponent of cruelty art with her line-up of ravaged and deformed bodies.
Saville, born in 1970, had better shut up proclaiming she is influenced by de Kooning and Pollock. They are fine artists of superb skill and painterly imagination, and she is an illustrator. Her technique is technical and literal, and nowhere does any fresh and inventive insight appear within her conforming and run-of-the-mill mtier.
In 1997, in the Sensation show from the Saatchi collection exhibited in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, which caused such a fuss, I saw Savilles thinly-painted flaccid giant rumps for the first time. Now the paint is thicker and spread over enormous, manipulated photo blow-ups. There are bloated rumps too, and squelched and maimed faces and limbs smeared with red, seemingly depicting traffic accidents, operations or torture practices.
One sweetish picture of an astonished cutie, like something in a fashion advertisement, is sprouting a penis between her spread-out legs. Its a dead giveaway: for if it had not been jazzed up by the gratuitous appendage, it would only have been a kitschy calendar picture.
Most of that generation who were called Young British Artists were strenuously trained in academic schools to try to earn their bread with instant success: notoriety was the gimmick notoriety at all costs by sensational renderings in formaldehyde, excrement, exact replicas of torture or death, in wax. This works against them in the long run: nothing ages as fast as the new. And you cannot combat horror by mimicking it. In art, fake horror is neither provoking nor shocking, it is only irritating and boring. The only way to combat it is with something far more insidious and secret stirring up the tiny modest joys of ordinary days with delight in living. Edith Schloss