Irene Imfeld’s landscape and nature-based imagery draws on aesthetic traditions from realism to minimalism. Always grounded in reality, beginning as straight photographs captured by the artist, the pictures often abstract the ordinary. Some are more recognizable than others as, over time, her work has become more abstract. Even the unmanipulated pieces show the everyday world as transcendent or strange, imbued with a sometimes ethereal, sometimes rough, beauty. The combination of digital technology and a longing for romanticism evokes the moment—and environment—in which we find ourselves. Her work is about the paradox of this co-existence seen within the beautiful place it occupies.
Irene Imfeld was awarded a residency at Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residencies in 2015 where she completed the Zone of Transformation series. She continued abstract work in January 2016 in New Mexico and produced the final form of Strangeness of Seeing later that year.
Her image, Vacant Nests #21, was chosen by William Wegman as Grand Prize Winner in the 2014 Fauna competition, San Francisco. The Vacant Nests series was shown at a solo exhibit at Soho Photo Gallery, New York, in June 2016, as winner of the SPG portfolio competition. Irene spoke about the development of her work at City College of San Francisco in April 2016, an update to her featured presentation, “The Artist’s Path,” at Shooting the West, Winnemucca, NV, in 2013. She had solo exhibitions at the Bolinas Museum and the Fresno Art Museum, both in 2007. In addition, she won awards in exhibitions at the Print Center, Philadelphia, and at the Atheneum, La Jolla, California.
Irene grew up in Middletown, Ohio and currently has a studio in Oakland. She is an accomplished digital printer who has worked with textiles, handmade books, and commercial book design in the past. She was co-owner and curatorial director of PHOTO Fine Art Photography, a regional gallery in Oakland, 2010-15. Irene is currently on the PhotoAlliance Board of Directors.