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Currents: Evan Penny at The Columbus Museum of Art

COLUMBUS, OH.- The Columbus Museum of Art presents Currents: Evan Penny, on view through September 2, 2007. Toronto sculptor Evan Penny creates hyperrealistic figural sculptures of unnatural proportions. Enlarged, stretched, and skewed, his manipulated portraits inhabit the fluid dimensions of the virtual world. Penny expands upon the legacy of superreal sculpture, beginning in the 1960s with Duane Hanson and John D'Andrea and revived by recent artists such as Ron Mueck and Maurizio Cattelan. Unlike his predecessors and contemporaries, Penny's work calls the act of vision into question, distorting the viewer's own sense of spatial perception. Penny's highly illusionistic works appear to result from 3-D body scanning and digital distortion of real subjects. They are, in fact, imagined portraits handcrafted without the use of computer technology. The precise modeling, pigmented silicone skin, and natural hair fibers impart Penny's non-people with an eerie presence. Even at twice to ten times life-size, they have the uncanny appearance of living subjects. Penny's figures build upon the tradition of portraiture within the historical collection. More importantly, the perceptual dynamics of the work signals the current cultural moment in which space, time and the body are reconsidered as malleable and reconfigurable by new technologies.

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