RAiR | 1981-82

Irene Pijoan †

Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Irene Pijoan (1953-2004) was the daughter of famous Catalan art historian Jose Pijoan, a friend of Picasso. She was conceived when he was 75 years old. She moved to the United States after meeting an American women in Spain. At sixteen, Irene had dropped out of school and the woman from Sacramento, California persuaded her to complete her studies. Irene completed her Bachelor of Arts in 1978 and her Master of Fine Arts in 1980 at the University of California in Davis. In 1979 she was awarded a scholarship to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and afterwards received numerous other grants, including a Ford Foundation Grant and a National Endowment for the Arts grant. From 1983 Irene taught at the San Francisco Art Institute for twenty years. She experimented with many mediums and styles, including the use of 3D encaustic for portraiture. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including the Guggenheim Museum and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.