Evan Penny - Reviews & Essays


No One – In Particular, Series 2, 2004–2007

The sculptures in the second No One – In Particular series resemble those in the first, but at twice life size, they are larger. Furthermore, their facial relief is more voluminous, and their facial expression more finely nuanced. Penny fashioned three clay portraits for this series, from which he then produced a total of nine different pieces – three variations cast from each portrait and then reworked. Unlike those in the first series, the three modelled sculptures clearly differ from one another. “The object of the exercise was,” as the artist explains, “to start with a stereotype but render and develop it until individuality overrode type”. For this Penny assigned them to three different categories: young, old and fat. These basic features are consistently maintained from the original form to the finished variation. The artist could only create individual personality within these predetermined categories by adding flesh tones, hair and clothing. When viewing the group of sculptures in its entirety, the impression that one is looking at living individuals created when viewing individual photographs of the sculptures is clearly counteracted by the morphological sameness within the categories as well as the categorised ordering pattern.