New York

Penny Davenport, Animal Sacrifice, 2010, ink on paper, 7 1⁄2 × 11".

Penny Davenport, Animal Sacrifice, 2010, ink on paper, 7 1⁄2 × 11".

Penny Davenport

Fortnight Institute

Penny Davenport maps nebulous environments of waves, hills, curtains, rippling mountains, clouds, starscapes, and muted rainbows; the enigmatic denizens of these realms are sundry. “Silent Ancestors,” her solo exhibition at Fortnight Institute, spanned ten years of drawings in media such as ink, pencil, watercolor, and oil pastel. The works were unframed, inviting close inspection, and arranged in single rows along the length of two walls. Displayed in a vitrine were several pieces (some of which were treated with wax) that resembled antiquated, yellowy vellum.

The artist’s hand is apparent everywhere in the drawings, which are blanketed in short arrhythmic lines that seemed to tally hours, days, and years; each discrete marking is part of a continuum. Davenport favors this hatching technique to convey texture and depth, and the method is particularly effective for rendering the hair or

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