Rod Penner sensitively renders southwestern small-town America in his concise representational paintings. His acrylic on canvas paintings beautifully and poignantly depict desolate, deserted, decrepit and often lonesome locations. These works are based on photographs, on-site experience, and digital video stills that the artist shoots in and around his hometown of Marble Falls and throughout the states of Texas and New Mexico. On his adventures to find material, Penner focuses on the “look” of things like the variety of textures found in old homes, abandoned buildings and different types of weather and geography. He searches for scenes that exhibit contrasting elements such as serenity and warmth alongside abandonment and isolation. What makes these familiar scenes so unique is the sense of universalism presented through the lens of classic Americana. By utilizing what he finds in the American landscape, Penner is able to use the collective experience to connect with the viewer on a deeper psychological level.
Art critic John Seed writes, “Penner's work displays a profound and genuine sense of American culture. He is an individual—a classic outsider in many ways—who walks his own road and then paints it with astonishing singularity.”
JOKER COFFEE SHOP, Acrylic on panel, 6 x 6 in.
Rod Penner was born in 1965 in Vancouver, British Columbia. He attended Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Canada from 1982-83 before receiving a Bachelor of Arts from ORU in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1986.
His first solo exhibition was at Kauffman Galleries in Houston, Texas. He has had solo exhibitions at such venues as O.K. Harris Works of Art in New York City and Amarillo Museum of Art in Texas. He is represented by Miles McEnery Gallery in New York.
Recent group exhibitions include “Hyperrealism - 50 Years of Painting,” Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; “Photorealism. 50 Years of Hyperrealistic Painting,” which traveled to Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, Estonia, Musée d’Ixelles, Ixelles, Belgium, and Osthaus Museum Hagen, Hagen, Germany; “Differing Views: Rackstraw Downes, Richard Estes, Yvonne Jacquette, Andrew Lenaghan and Rod Penner,” George Adams Gallery, New York, NY; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; “Hyperrealism 1967 – 2013,” Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain; and “Photorealism: 50 Years of Hyperrealistic Painting,” which traveled to Kunsthalle Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England; and Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium.
His work is included in numerous private and public collections, including the permanent collections of Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; Virlane Foundation, New Orleans, LA; and Flint Institute of Arts in Flint, MI, among others.
Penner lives and works with his wife, Debbie, in the Texas Hill Country. They have five children.