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Evan Penny: Ask Your Body exhibition at the Chiesa San Samuele in Venice, May to November, 2017

Evan Penny: Ask Your Body
Curated by Michael Short
Chiesa di San Samuele, Venice, Italy
May–November 2017
Reception: May 10, 4 - 7 pm
TrépanierBaer and the Art Gallery of Alberta are delighted to announce Evan Penny: Ask Your Body, an exhibition of new and recent sculptures by the esteemed international Canadian artist Evan Penny. The exhibition will be shown at Chiesa di San Samuele during the 57th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia 2017. The exhibition is supported by the Art Gallery of Alberta and the Curia Patriarcale di Venezia.

The Exhibition

The sculptures in the exhibition are firmly rooted in the artist’s longstanding interest in the human body as well as how viewers perceive their relationship with themselves and others. While the artist has expanded his sculptural repertoire by openly referencing art from other eras, Evan Penny: Ask Your Body primarily emphasizes the visceral manner with which viewers experience the works.

The sculptures presented in Evan Penny: Ask Your Body include several monumentally scaled works. They are meditations on the many conditions of being human:

  • Marsyas explores aspiring to be god-like and failing
  • Homage to Holbein examines the body subjected to the sacrifices and indignities of life on earth
  • Hanging Torso and Self Portrait after Géricault’s Fragments Anatomiques look at having one’s body regarded as fragmented and dislocated
  • The pair of works Young Self and Old Self create empathy through the imagined history of the artist’s life, as represented by a fictional period from the past and the future.

The Venue

Chiesa di San Samuele, located next to the magnificent 18th century Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal, has been selected as the venue for the exhibition. Built circa 1000, this church has long held a cultural and historical significance in the area. Titian reportedly maintained a studio in the area near San Samuele when he painted the Punishment of Marsyas (c.1570-1576).The Catalogue

The 122-page exhibition catalogue will be available on May 10. It will be published by Skira Editore (Milan, Italy) and include 80 colour images, texts in English and French by don. Gianmatteo Caputo, Robert Enright, Dr. Alexander Nagel, and Michael Short.

About the Artist

Evan Penny was born in South Africa in 1953, and immigrated to Canada in 1962. In 1975, he graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary with an Honours Fine Art Diploma. Two years later, he returned to the Alberta College of Art and Design and completed Post-Graduate studies in sculpture.

From his earliest sculptural busts in the 1970s through to his first nude sculptures in the early 1980s, Penny has devoted himself to an examination of how the concepts of sculptural realism have been influenced by classicism, romanticism, and - most importantly for the artist—by the advent of traditional and digital photography (National Gallery of Canada).

Recent international exhibitions include:

  • A touring 12-year survey titled Evan Penny RE FIGURED (Kunsthalle Tübingen, Germany; Museum Der Moderne, Salzburg Austria; MARCA, Cantanzaro, Italy; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto)
  • A touring group exhibition titled RESHAPED REALITY- 50 Years of Hyperrealistic Sculpture (Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Spain; Museo de Arte Contem-poráneo de Monterrey, Mexico; ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Denmark; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia; Kunsthal Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • HUMAN SCALE at the National Gallery of Canada in 2016.

Evan Penny’s work can also be seen in the current Art Gallery of Alberta exhibition titled The Looking Glass until May 28.

Evan Penny: Ask Your Body is curated by Michael Short, with the support of the Art Gallery of Alberta, Curia Patriarcale di Venezia, and TrépanierBaer Gallery.

TrépanierBaer Gallery

Technical and Organizational support by Paul Bradley and Diego Vianello with Ambiete e Arte.

For more information contact

TrépanierBaer Gallery
105, 999-8th Street SW
Calgary, AB, T2R 1J5 Canada
Tel: + (403) 244-2066

Yves Trépanier
Judy Ciccaglione
Michael Short

Follow Evan Penny's exhibition online

Instagram and use #evanpennyvenice

Or contact him via email at

Tags: Affiliated
March 27, 2017


Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: closed


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