Open: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm

14 Bury Street, St. James's, SW1Y 6AL, London, United Kingdom
Open: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm


Thu 1 Jun 2023 to Thu 10 Aug 2023

14 Bury Street, St. James's, SW1Y 6AL Bathers

Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12-6pm

Private view: Thursday 1 June, 7pm-9pm

This June, Saatchi Yates presents ‘Bathers’- a major group exhibition drawing from the rich tradition of Bathing scenes in the history of painting, in ode to the ultimate summer muse.

Installation Views

Installation image for Bathers, at Saatchi Yates Installation image for Bathers, at Saatchi Yates Installation image for Bathers, at Saatchi Yates Installation image for Bathers, at Saatchi Yates Installation image for Bathers, at Saatchi Yates

Tracing its genesis to classical antiquity, artists have depicted the bathing figure over the ages, from the French Masters appreciation of natural beauty, to its radical reconstruction by Picasso. Today, this tradition continues to captivate the imagination, with the new exhibition at Saatchi Yates exploring this enduring subject, grounded in the birth of Venus from the sea.

The exhibition brings together a collection of contemporary art, presented alongside renowned Post-War and Historical Masters including David Hockney, Paul Cezanne, J. M. W. Turner and Pablo Picasso. Contemporary stars such as Hurvin Anderson, Peter Doig, Henry Taylor and Eric Fischl, will feature in the show, creating an artistic tapestry that reflects the breadth and diversity of the Bathers theme across the history of art. Notable pieces from Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Damien Hirst, and Auguste Rodin will also be on display.

Speaking of the exhibition, Martin Gayford says: “Bathers in painting are both varied and fundamental to the human condition. The combination of unclothed bodies and water can evoke guilt-free primordial innocence: a sin-free Eden. On the other hand, the same visual ingredients can suggest the consequences of Eve and Adam’s Fall: guilt, lust, death.

In either case, the subject combines in one neat package two of the major preoccupations of artists for many centuries – landscape and the nude. It is no surprise that bathers have preoccupied painters for so long, and it is likely that the combination of water and human bodies will continue to intrigue them far into the future.”

Now, Six of Saatchi Yates gallery artists will pay homage to this tradition, each one exploring the Bather in their own unique, painterly style. Saatchi Yates-represented artists will include British artists Danny Fox & Benjamin Spiers, alongside prominent Ethiopian artist Tesfaye Urgessa; breakout Korean artist Sujin Lee; American visual artist Kottie Paloma; and Swiss artist Angela Santana.

Bathers follows on from Saatchi Yates' well-regarded Tesfaye Urgessa solo show in Miami, which coincided with his presentation at the Rubell Museum in November 2022. The show also follows on from Macabre - the selling exhibition co-organised with Christie's London in October 2022, featuring works by Otto Dix, Lucas Cranach, Andy Warhol, and Francis Bacon.

The exhibition catalogue will include essays by leading Art Critic Martin Gayford and Author and First Female Chair of National Gallery, Hannah Rothschild.

Installation view, Bathers at Saatchi Yates, London

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