Irene Hardwicke Olivieri
American, born 1959

Irene Hardwicke Olivieri is known for enigmatic, colorful oil paintings on wooden panels that depict nude females in fantastical landscapes, teeming with wildlife. Many of her scenes are semi-autobiographical—in Devil’s Trumpet (2009), for example, a young woman sits serenely, oblivious to the devil trumpeting in her ear, a scene inspired by advice she once received, that “when you worry it’s like having the devil’s trumpet in your ear.” Depicting “private fantasies,” as one critic described, Olivieri’s paintings often paraphrase minutely printed religious texts, worked into her fantastical compositions amongst rich symbolism and stylistic references to Surrealism and folk art.