BLUE POLYMORPH #1
polyester resin and pigment
signed, titled and dated 1997 on the reverse
17 ins x 15 ins; 43.2 cms x 38.1 cms
There is a curious hybridism to the sculptures of the South African-born Evan Penny, whose compositions range from the precisely lifelike to funhouse mirror-esque malformations. His figures are yanked, stretched, or otherwise contorted to become uncanny messengers of the subjectivity of the way we perceive ourselves and others. In the 1980s he became well known for his hyper-real sculptures of larger than life models, sculpted in clay and then cast in resin.
A graduate of the Alberta College of Art (Calgary), Penny consistently presents the human form with a sense of controlled realism, despite irregularities, and is a master over his media. His sculpted skin reminds of the propensity of flesh to bruise, scar, and ultimately deteriorate, alluding to the brevity of human life. In Blue Polymorph #1, the delicate influence of his hand is present in the marks and indentations of the surface; creating a very human-like form out of the very banality of a decorative object.
Penny has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum Kunst Palast (Düsseldorf). He has garnered an international reputation and his work is in the permanent collections of some of the most important public galleries in Canada and around the world. Most recently Penny was the subject of a major survey at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2012, entitled “Evan Penny: Re Figured”.
Private Collection, Ontario