Art Gallery of Ontario

Art Gallery of Ontario

August 08, 2012 08:30 ET

Art Gallery of Ontario Brings Evan Penny's Hyper-Realistic Sculptures Home in Evan Penny: Re Figured

Penny's First Solo Exhibition at the AGO Opens September 20

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 8, 2012) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) welcomes internationally renowned Toronto-based sculptor Evan Penny home with a large solo exhibition opening Sept. 20, 2012. Evan Penny: Re Figured will feature over 25 of Penny's larger-than-life sculptures, each painstakingly crafted from layers of pigmented silicone, human hair, fabric and resin. Blending abstraction and figuration, Penny's hyper-realistic sculptures straddle the line between object and image, presenting the human form both as it is and as it can be when imagined through the distorting lens of photography and digital media.

Filling the fourth floor of the AGO's Vivian and David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art, Evan Penny: Re Figured shows the artist's evolution over the past decade, highlighting in equal measure his technical skill and fresh thinking. Accessible, often familiar and sometime vaguely monstrous, his works engage audiences, young and old alike, on various levels.

Curated by Daniel J. Schreiber of Germany's prestigious Kunsthalle Tübingen, the exhibition includes notable works from various series including Anamorph, No One In Particular and L. Faux among others. Also featured will be one of the most popular works in the AGO collection, Stretch #1 (2003), which features a face whose natural proportions have been elongated.

"Evan's strikingly original sculptures have essentially created a genre" said Matthew Teitelbaum, director and CEO of the AGO. "Born in South Africa and raised in Canada, his work has been shown across the world for years, and it is with delight that we welcome him home with his first solo exhibition at the AGO."

In addition to his massive sculptures, the exhibition provides a glimpse of Penny's engagement with other media, including photography, offset printing and 3D scanning. A former special effects expert whose film credits include Oliver Stone's film JFK, Penny's grasp of these media - and his ability to use them interchangeably - is evident in the precision and imagination of his works.

"Evan's artistry is a powerful yet playful display of human emotion and expression," said Nancy Campbell, AGO curator of record for Evan Penny: Re Figured. "His signature techniques, often presented in portrait busts with skewed proportions or unusual colour schemes, are perfectly showcased in the works presented here."

In 2011 the AGO celebrated the opening of the Weston Family Learning Centre with the installation of numerous plaster models created by Evan Penny as part of his working process. The Gallery invites all visitors to have a unique hands-on experience with these models in the Weston Family Learning Centre.

The AGO is the last stop for Evan Penny: Re Figured following exhibitions at Germany's Kunsthalle Tübingen, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg in Austria, and Italy's Museo delle Arti Cantanzaro. The exhibition runs until Jan. 6, 2013.

This exhibition is organized by the Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany in association with the Art Gallery of Ontario.

The Art Gallery of Ontario is funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Additional operating support is received from the City of Toronto, the Canada Council for the Arts and generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners.

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