Saturday, September 22, 2012

Evan Penny article out today in Toronto Star

Earlier this week, I was lucky to speak to Evan Penny about this work on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition "Re Figured."

Today, a related article was published in the Toronto Star. Here's an excerpt:

Double-takes abound at Evan Penny: Re Figured, just opened at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Penny, a Toronto-based artist, has been making wondrous, hyper-real sculptures of the human form for more than 30 years. Along the way, he’s gained international acclaim for his skill in recreating, with exacting detail, the textures, forms and gestures of the human body. Certainly, it can take a few looks to be sure there aren’t actual people lurking in his silicone-and-human-hair creations.

Also worthy of a double-take, however, given Penny’s aesthetic, technical and critical success, is the fact that Re Figured is only the first AGO solo show for this masterful local.

Re Figured was actually developed by German curator Daniel J. Schreiber, who premiered it at the Kunsthalle Tubingen in June 2011, then toured it to Austria’s Museum der Moderne Salzburg and Italy’s Museo delle Arti Cantanzaro before its final stop here.

Yet Penny, who turns 60 next year, is gracious about his hometown gallery having taken a while to honour his achievements.

“Probably all artists would say it [the recognition] always comes too late, right?” he says, smiling. “But I think, in fact, this is kind of perfect timing.”

For the full story, read on at

(Image of Evan Penny with his work Old Self: Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be #1, Variation of 4, 2010 © Evan Penny 2012)

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Friday, September 14, 2012

Talk at Gallery 44 on September 22 for Canadian Art Gallery Hop

Hey! Just wanted to say that I will be emerging from under my vast electronic rock to give a brief talk on Saturday, September 22, as part of the Canadian Art Gallery Hop.

The talk will be at Gallery 44, 401 Richmond Street West, at 1:30 p.m. It will address the work of Else Marie Hagen, whose exhibition at Gallery 44 opens today.

The talk (which is free, like all Gallery Hop day activities) is actually part of an art tour of the Richmond and Spadina area. Here are the details from the Gallery Hop site:

TOUR: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; meet at Onsite [at] OCAD University, 230 Richmond St. W.
: 1:30 p.m. at Gallery 44, 120–401 Richmond St. W.

Assistant Curator at Onsite [at] OCAD University Lisa Deanne Smith conducts this tour of Richmond St. W. and Spadina Ave. galleries. At Gallery 44, writer, editor and Canadian Art  Managing Online Editor Leah Sandals speaks about Else Marie Hagen’s engagement with the materiality of the image in her exhibition “Det Synlige” (“The Visible”) at Gallery 44.

Tour itinerary:
1. “Letter Rip! Art, Words and Toronto” (Onsite [at] OCAD University, 230 Richmond St. W.)
2a. Else Marie Hagen (Gallery 44, 120–401 Richmond St. W.)
2b. Brian Groombridge (YYZ Artists’ Outlet, 140–401 Richmond St. W.)
2c. AndrĂ©e-Anne Dupuis-Bourret (Open Studio, 104–401 Richmond St. W.)
3a. Annie Sakkab (Toronto Image Works, 207–80 Spadina Ave.)
3b. Luther Price (CONTACT Gallery, 310–80 Spadina Ave.)

In the Neighbourhood:
3c. Janet Jones (Katzman Kamen Gallery, 406–80 Spadina Ave.)
3d. Selected gallery artists (Trias Gallery, 403–80 Spadina Ave.)
3e. “New Biology 2” (Moore Gallery, 404–80 Spadina Ave.)

There are 7 other tours and talks programs happening on the 22nd, as well as a free panel at 11 a.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and a free magazine launch at Diaz Contemporary from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (You have to RSVP for the launch by September 17, though, to

Also, *tonight* there is a free conversation between the artist and C Magazine editor Amish Morrell, who wrote the exhibition essay. It's also recommended.

For more information visit the Gallery 44 website and the Gallery Hop Talks & Tours page.

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