Overcoming Optimism, Harland Miller

JournalArt & Culture

Overcoming Optimism, Harland Miller

Artistic misery-guts covers life's plotlines...

You’ll either love Harland Miller‘s work or you won’t, possibly you’ll even hate it. I doubt my Gran would have thought much of the Yorkshireman’s sense of humour, although she would undoubtedly have recognised the central design inspiration for Overcoming Optimism, Miller’s latest collection, as the iconic paperback cover style of Penguin books.

From the famous orange and white of the 1950s and ’60s to their more adventurous counterparts from the surrounding periods, Penguin paperback covers are instantly recognisable, but you won’t have read any of the books on display at Edinburgh’s Ingleby Gallery before.

Infused with a sardonic wit, the generally pessimistic titles, liberally peppered with profanities, are like an intellectual version of the bumper sticker or t-shirt slogan – the main differences being Miller’s work is laugh-out-loud funny (if you’re me anyway) and they are beautifully rendered; the weathered, second-hand-bookshop artwork is as important to the overall pieces as the message they are carrying.

On display and in your face from 3rd November this year to 26th January 2013.

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