Olivia Plender Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

Olivia Plender
The Masterpiece Part 4 - A Weekend In The Country


24 drawings on paper

21 x 29.7cm

Olivia Plender uses the format of the comic book as an alternative mode of distribution for art, capitalising on its inexpensive accessibility as a means to challenge cultural ideals. The Masterpiece series is an expansive critique of originality; the drawings are conceived as a by-product of artistic process and not actual artworks in themselves. Appropriating her title from Emile Zola’s novel about Cezanne, Plender’s The Masterpiece 4 explores the concept of Romanticism and authors a complex fiction examining the concept of artist-as-genius. Her protagonist is an archetypical painter – tortured by his creativity, exploited by a cruel world – who is invited from 1960s London to a weekend in the country. The plot unfolds as a Byronic epic cum Hammer House horror, delving her champion into a world of psychedelia and occult as a metaphoric parody of artistic strife. Drawing reference from 19th century technical manuals and b-movie film stills, Plender’s graphic narratives are designed with the stylised glamour of pulp fiction covers. Her vignette images intertwine as surreal pastiche, adding a psychological complexity to her illustrated story.

Other artists in

Caroline Achaintre    Tasha Amini    Hurvin Anderson    Maurizio Anzeri    Jonathan Baldock    Anna Barriball    Steve Bishop    Karla Black    Lyn. Yiadom Boakye    Pablo Bronstein    Alan Brooks    Peter Linde Busk    Carla Busuttil    Nicholas Byrne    Gareth Cadwallader    Juliana Cerqueira Leite    Spartacus Chetwynd    Steven Claydon    Clarisse d'Arcimoles    William Daniels    Matthew Darbyshire    Graham Durward    Tim Ellis    Tom Ellis    Richard Evans    Tessa Farmer    Marcus Foster    Robert Fry    Ximena Garrido-Lecca    Jaime Gili    Nick Goss    Luke Gottelier    Kate Groobey    Anthea Hamilton    Anne Hardy    Gabriel Hartley    Nicholas Hatfull    Iain Hetherington    Alexander Hoda    Sigrid Holmwood    James Howard    Graham Hudson    Dean Hughes    Des Hughes    Mustafa Hulusi    Paul Johnson    Edward Kay    Idris Khan    Scott King    Ansel Krut    littlewhitehead    Christina Mackie    Alastair Mackinven    Goshka Macuga    Ryan Mosley    Rupert Norfolk    Arif Ozakca    Mark Pearson    Dan Perfect    Peter Peri    Olivia Plender    Henrijs Preiss    Ged Quinn    Clunie Reid    Barry Reigate    Luke Rudolf    Maaike Schoorel    Daniel Silver    David Brian Smith    Renee So    Fergal Stapleton    Clare Stephenson    Systems House    Caragh Thuring    Phoebe Unwin    Donald Urquhart    Jonathan Wateridge    John Wynne    Toby Ziegler

Olivia Plender's Biography

Olivia Plender
Born in 1977, London
Lives and works in Berlin

Artist and Co-Editor of Untitled Magazine


Adieu Adieu Apa, Gasworks, London, England

Information, Education, Entertainment, Marabou Parken, Stockholm

The Folly of Man Exposed or the World Turned Upside Down, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt

The Medium and Daybreak Castlefield Gallery, Manchester
A Public Meeting to Address the Phenomenon of Materialization, Man in the Holocene, London (performance)

Rationalise, Standardise, Mechanise Plattform Gallery, Berlin


Newspeak: British Art Now, The Saatchi Gallery, London
British Art Show 7: In The Days Of The Comet, Hayward Gallery, London
Tierre de nadie, Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz
Manifesta 8, Murcia
Taipei Biennial 2010 - Taipei Biennial, Taipei
Whitstable Biennale 2010 - Whitstable Biennale, Ramsgate (England)
Neither From, Nor Towards... - Umjetnicki paviljon / Art Pavilion Zagreb, Zagreb
There is no alternative (TINA) - Storey Gallery, Lancaster (England)
Bucharest Biennale 4 - Bucharest Biennale for Contemporary Art, Bucharest
Making Ships in Bottles - CGP London, London (England)
The 4th Auckland Triennial - Last Ride in a Hot Air Balloon - Auckland Triennial, Auckland
There Is No Alternative - Konsthall C, Hökarängen
Fall Out – Desire and Disengagement in Contemporary Art - Gl. Holtegaard, Holte
Fall Out – Desire and Disengagement in Contemporary Art - Malmö
Konsthall, Malmö
Brtish Art Show 7 - In The Days of the Comet - Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (England)

The Malady of Writing. A project on text and speculative imagination - Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona
Practical Truths - Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (England)
Desiring Necessities - John Hansard Gallery, Southampton (England)
Drawing 2009 Biennal Fundraiser - The Drawing Room, London (England)
Tate Triennial 2009 - Altermodern - Tate Triennial, London (England)
TINA - Hatton Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne

Moot Points: Exercises in Self Organisation, Discourse and Collaboration - Transmission Gallery, Glasgow
TINA - The Drawing Room, London
Bending the Word / MATRIX 226 - Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive BAM/PFA, Berkeley, CA
The Greenroom: Reconsidering the Documentary and Contemporary Art - Hessel Museum of Art & Center for Curatorial Studies Galleries at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
La gran transformacion - Arte y magia tactica - MARCO Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Vigo, Vigo
Not Quite How I Remember It - The Power Plant, Toronto, ON
The Great Transformation - Kunst und taktische Magie - Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/Main
I desired what you were, I need what you are - Galleria Maze, Turin
Cult Fiction - Art and Comics - Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, Cumbria

Art Now Live, Tate Britain, London (performance)
Athens Biennial: How to Endure, Athens, Greece
Moscow Biennial: Left Pop, Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia
Le Truc, The Project, Dublin
Mystic Truths, Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
Cult Fiction, New Art Gallery Walsall, Hayward Touring Show

Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London
Busan Biennial, Busan, South Korea
2nd International Biennial of Young Artists, Bucharest, Romania
Becks Futures, ICA, London; touring to Arnolfini, Bristol and CCA, Glasgow
Slowly Learning to Survive the Desire to Simplify: a symposium on critical documents, Iaspis, Stockholm (commission)
In Search of the New Republic (or the Tables Turned), Serpentine Gallery, London (performance)
Radio Gallery, Resonance FM, London, curated by Anna Colin
Transcommunication Lab, Old Operating Theatre, London (performance), curated by Electra/ Carl Michael Von Hauswolf
Le Retour de la Colonne Durutti, Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin
Shaking Smooth Spaces, La Generale, Paris
Publish and be Damned, London, curated by Sarah McCrory

BMW: 1X Baltic Triennial of International Art, CAC, Vilnius
Paris-Londres: Le Voyage Interieur, Espace Electra, Paris curated by Alex Farquharson and Alexis Vaillant
A Press Conference with Ken Russell, Camden Arts Centre, London (performance)
Publish and be Damned, The Crypt, London, curated by Emily Pethick and Kit Hammonds
On the Way to the Peak of Normal, Embassy Gallery, Edinburgh
Coniston Water Festival, Grizedale Arts, Cumbria, (performance)
Dance of the Seven Veils, Cooper Gallery, Dundee
From our Cold Hands, VTO Gallery, London
Bienal de Jafre, Girona, Spain

Romantic Detachment, PS1/ MoMA, New York
East End Academy, Whitechapel Gallery, London
For Example, Hayward Gallery, London, (performance with Christopher Howell)
Publish and Be Damned, Cubitt Gallery/ The Crypt, London curated by Kit Hammonds and Emily Pethick
Trailer, Man in the Holocene, London
Like Beads on an Abacus Designed to Calculate Infinity, Rockwell, London
Slim Volume, edited and published by Andrew Hunt

Anyway published by Alberta Press
Happy Pappy published by Milch Gallery
Artists Project for Atlantica Magazine Published by Centro Atlantico De Arte Moderno, Gran Canaria

Project for Aleksandra Mir’s Daily News. Published by Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Greengrassi
Gatsby The New Lansdowne Club, Hackney, London

Department The Changing Room Gallery, Stirling, Scotland