The Palladio Group Hosts Works by Late Artist Paul Penczner

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The Palladio Group Hosts Works by Late Artist Paul Penczner To Support Endowment at UTHSC

During October, The Palladio Group, one of the Bluff City’s premier sites for antiques and art, will showcase and sell a selection of 40 works by late Memphis artist Paul Penczner. The works represent a diverse selection of artistic styles, subjects and media from a collection of more than 400 Penczner works owned by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). The artist’s widow Jolanda Penczner donated the collection and her husband’s fine art studio in Midtown Memphis to UTHSC. To launch Palladio’s show and sale of the Penczner works, the venue will host a free opening reception for the public on Friday, October 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

All proceeds from sale of the Penczner collection will support an endowment named for him in the UTHSC Department of Physiology. The endowment will focus on cardiovascular research. More Penczner works are available for online viewing and purchase at http://uthsc.edu/penczner/. New works are posted each month.

The Palladio showroom offers upscale antiques, decorative appointments, and original fine art for the most discriminating tastes. Patrons will discover some 75 creatively presented designer vignettes filled with impressive imported French, English, Italian and Swedish 18th and 19th century antiques. The Palladio showroom, located at 2169 Central Avenue in Memphis, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

On November 8, Jolanda Penczner and Memphis philanthropist and designer Pat Kerr Tigrett, who is also a former art student of Paul Penczner’s, will co-host a reception for 200 guests at the Memphis Botanic Garden to celebrate the artist’s legacy. Another 40 Penczner works will be available for display and sale at the reception. For more information, contact Kathleen Stern, who is administering sale of the works on behalf of UTHSC, at pencznergift@gmail.com.

Recognized as a remarkable painter and extraordinary personality, Paul Penczner is known for evocative portraiture and a dizzying array of artistic styles, working in mediums that include oils, watercolors, pen and ink, and large installations. The Hungarian-born artist came to Memphis in 1951 with his German-born wife Jolanda, quickly earning a reputation as one of the city’s finest painters and most generous instructors. His portraits hang throughout the city of Memphis and in many private collections elsewhere.

Throughout his career, Penczner’s commissioned portraits proved quite popular, providing his family with a steady income. In fact, many years ago it was through commissioned portraits of UTHSC department chairs that he first became aware of the university community. But it was the noncommissioned work he undertook — the painting he did to satisfy himself — that won him critical acclaim and a lasting place in the history of modern art.

“His talent was enormous, and it crossed genres,” said Pat Kerr Tigrett. “Memphis never understood how extraordinary and how well received he was.”

From the 1950s on, Penczner showed his diverse body of work at more than 70 major art exhibitions throughout the United States, including the Smithsonian, the New York National Academy of Design, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Locally it was shown in the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

In 1989 a series of pen-and-ink works titled, “Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles,” was accepted by Pope John Paul II, and was placed in the Vatican Museum of Art in Rome. Penczner had worked and reworked the drawings for 20 years, engrossed in endless studies of the faces of homeless men in downtown Memphis.

To memorialize the first anniversary of the September 11 terrorism attack, Penczner painted “American Starry Night,” donating it to the then-commander in chief, President George W. Bush. The work remains part of the White House Collection.