Robyn Penn

South Africa

Robyn Penn is primarily a painter who also draws and prints.  Her work is represented in collections in multiple countries. Penn has assisted prominent South African artists in a curatorial capacity, in commissions and consulting.


Penn is interested in natural processes of transformation and dissolution, and has carried out intensive and highly detailed studies examining rapidly-changing sea waters and cloud formations, amongst others. Her work both captures and resists the inherent transience of these natural phenomena.
Penn’s series of knitting works show knitting in various stages of unravelling, which alludes to, and finds confluence with, the act of her father’s car tinkering activities carried out when she was a child.  Her father’s tinkering and fixing, clicking and clanging along the way, represents an activity that is “as much enjoyed for the process as for the reward of achieving a specific purpose” . Penn began “to knit for the sake of the activity of knitting, and without plan or purpose she would knit and unravel, knit and undo. Gradually, her father’s tinkering and her knitting became reconciled and the clicking of her plastic needles became an echo across time of the clanging of her father’s wrenches and greasy spanners.” [courtesy David Krut website]

Exhibitions, Awards & Collections

Selected Exhibitions


2019 Barnard Collective, Group exhibition, Barnard Gallery,Johannesburg

2019  News From Another World, Solo exhibition, Barnard Gallery, Johannesburg

2019  Monochrome, Group exhibition, Barnard Gallery, Johannesburg

2018  AKAA Paris 2018, Le Carreau du Temple, Paris

2018  nano 1.2, Barnard, Cape Town

2018  Investec Cape Town Art Fair, CTICC, Cape Town

2018  New Romantics, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town

2017  Barnard Collective, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town

2017  AKAA Paris, Carreu du Temple, Paris

2017  nano 1.1, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town

2017  Fluid: Perspectives in Paint, Barnard Gallery, Cape Town

2017  Robyn Penn: Paradise Lost,

2014  Postcard Show, Art First Projects, London

2013  Echo, David Krut Projects, Johannesburg

2012  Exit, David Krut Projects, Johannesbug

2011  Pretty World, David Krut Projects, Johannesburg

2009  The Brutal Year, Brodie/Stevenson Gallery, Johannesburg


Awards and Fellowships


2012 Ampersand Fellowship, New York

2005 Finalist, ABSA L’Atelier competition, South Africa

2003 Finalist, Sasol New Signatures competition, South Africa

2002 Finalist, Sasol New Signatures competition, South Africa

1998 Bickerton-Widdowson Trust Memorial scholarship, New Zealand


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