Irena Kononova is a Russian born artist who presently resides in the Bay Area. She grew up in the family of an actor in St. Petersburg and attended Art High School. When still a teenager, she participated in the nonconformist art group "Alef". Ms. Kononova received an M.A. from St. Petersburg University, Russia. She immigrated to the U.S. in 1981. In 1987 Irena graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she was a recipient of a Cresson Traveling Scholarship and various prizes.
During her years in Philadelphia, Irena had won a prestigious juried show at the Fleisher Art Memorial and was interviewed many times for major newspapers. She was featured in a dialog on Art in Exile on Fresh Air program on the National Public Radio. Ms. Kononova was a member of a Creative Artists Network in Philadelphia.
Before moving to California, Ms. Kononova completed the cycle of monumental installed murals for the headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. The artist combines large scale work with the series of smaller intimate paintings. Karen Tsujimoto, Senior Curator of Art at Oakland Museum of California described Ms. Kononova’s “Rooms” series as “Wonderful…they initially give you a feeling of such small work, but then seem bigger with a sense of infinity.”
Irena’s participation in many juried shows in California was marked by a number of awards. Ms. Kononova collaborates successfully with educational and non-for-profit institutions. Her paintings were featured in “Atmospheres” – an invitational, critically acclaimed show at the Arts Benicia Gallery. In 2006-2007 the artist held a solo exhibition at Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, California.
The artist exhibits widely throughout the US. In 2010-2011 her solo shows were presented at Dalet Gallery in Philadelphia, TimeIn HiArt Gallery in New York City and at Sandra Lee Gallery in San Francisco. The artist is represented by Sandra Lee Gallery, SFMOMA Artists Gallery and Chemers Gallery in Los Angeles.
MORA (Museum of Russian Art), Jersey City, NJ
Starr Group, Philadelphia, PA
Cypress Financial Corporation, San Francisco, CA
Minyard Morris, Inc., Newport Beach, CA
Omnicom Group, Inc., NY, NY
McGraw - Hill Companies, Columbus, Ohio
Centeon, Inc., King of Prussia, PA
GlaxoSmithkline U.S. Corporate Headquarters, Collegeville, PA
Kimberton Inn, Valley Forge, PA
Terramics Property Company, Wayne, PA
Karafin, Gruenstein, P.C., Bala Cynwyd, PA
Black Book Marketing Group, NY, NY
Marin Society of Artists
Los Gatos Art Association
Santa Cruz Art League
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Main Line Center of the Arts
Cresson Traveling Scholarship
Benjamin West Prize
Simone C. Titone Prize