Saatchi Yates


1st June - 10th August 2023

This June, Saatchi Yates is proud to present ‘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.

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, Henry Taylor and Eric Fischl, 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 are also 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 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 at Saatchi Yates will be open on Thursday 1st June and will be available to view until 10th August 2023.