Olivia Plender is an artist and writer and currently co-editor of ‘Untitled’ magazine. Her interest in magazine, comic strip and pulp fiction book cover formats is evident in her drawings exploring fictional narratives of bohemian lifestyles. In 2008 she has had residencies at Cove Park, Scotland,
Art in General, New York, University of Oxford, St. John’s College, in 2007 at Iaspis international studio programme, Stockholm and University of Auckland, New Zealand as ELAM Artist in residence, in 2005 at Triangle Arts Trust residency - El Basilisco, Buenos Aires, Argentina and in 2004 at the Visual Research Centre, Dundee Contemporary Arts; Grizedale Arts; and PS1, New York.
Solo shows/projects include Monitor, Art in General, New York, 2008; Information, Education, Entertainment, Marabou Parken Annex, Stockholm, 2007, The Folly of Man Exposed or the World Turned Upside Down, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, 2006 and The Medium and Daybreak Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 2005. Group exhibitions include in 2009 Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, Londo, The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art, Hessel Museum of Art, CCS Bard, New York, 2008; The Great Transformation, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt; touring to MARCO, Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Spain, 2008; Disclosures II: The Middles Ages; Nottingham Castle/ Laxton, Nottinghamshire, 2008; Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London, 2006;Becks Futures, ICA, London; touring to Arnolfini, Bristol and CCA, Glasgow, 2006; BMW: 1X Baltic Triennial of International Art, CAC, Vilnius, 2005; Publish and be Damned, The Crypt, London, 200,5; Romantic Detachment, New York, 2005 and East End Academy’ Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2004.
Plender’s print, ‘Evil Genius’, is intended as an advertisement for a horror movie that doesn’t exist. It is a visual cliché constructed from found imagery of the 1960s. For example, the girl running away from a castle at night appeared on the cover of virtually every gothic novel of that decade regardless of whether this happened in the story or not. Meanwhile, the chimerical half man, half beast is reminiscent of Lucifer in the classic Hammer Horror film ‘The Devil Rides Out’, despite being taken from a 19th century symbolist work. The film that this poster details is the adaptation of episode three of Plender’s ‘The Masterpiece’, a comic book about an artistic genius, in which the protagonist finds himself involved with a religious cult and is deified in the form of a sheep-headed man.
‘Evil Genius’, Olivia Plender. Edition of 100, 420x297mm, £80 unframed.