Contemporary artist Irma Cerese presents expressive landscapes which sometimes border on the abstract, but her primary focus is on color relationships. Color itself has always fascinated her and formed the basis of her work, starting with the geometric abstractions she worked on following her art school years. However, she found she needed a concrete point of reference, both for herself and the viewer. Landscape has provided that ever since, even after a fifteen year hiatus when she did not paint at all. Now she incorporates elements of the natural world—trees, sky, ground, water, buildings—into an underlying geometric structure, where some shapes are only loosely tethered to the perceived world. Manipulating acrylic paint on a canvas with knife and brush is an intense, visceral process for her and much is improvised as the painting develops. She strives to produce work that is a compelling visual experience in its own right, rather than to convey information or to illustrate an idea.
She received her formal training at the Academy of Art and the School of the Art Institute, both in Chicago, IL. Subsequently, she moved to New York City, where she maintained a studio until 1985. During that phase she was active in artist-run ventures and exhibited in several commercial galleries as well. She was also employed in the health insurance industry for some of that period. Following a move to the Boston area, she spent time away from art-related activities until she was able devote her energies exclusively to painting again. She currently lives and works in southeastern Massachusetts. Her award–winning work has been seen in juried, invitational, group and solo exhibitions. It is in private, corporate, and institutional collections in the United States and Europe.