Irene Pereira was born in 1902 in Chelsea, Massachusetts and grew up in Great Barrington. She was strongly influenced by her mother who was an amateur artist. Irene began art lessons at the age of fifteen; she took a secretarial job because her father had died. She took art classes at the Art Students League in New York City. At the age of twenty-one she married the first of three husbands, Humberto Pereira, whose name she kept.
She traveled extensively in Europe and North Africa and was much inspired by the expansive vistas of the Sahara Desert. Returning to New York, she began incorporating these visions into her work, increasingly experimental in her styles and methods. At first she painted on canvas, then she devised a means of actually incorporating light into her works by painting on layers of glass and mounting the layers together.
In 1942 she married George Brown, an engineer, who helped her experiment with a variety of materials. By the 1950s she became more interested in writing poetry and, divorced from Brown in 1952, she married George Reavey, an Irish Poet. From that time, she wrote extensively and published ten books of poems and essays. She was even named Poet Laureate of the Philippines. In 1959 she divorced Reavey and settled in Marbella, Spain. She died in 1971 at the age of sixty-nine.
Primordial Blaze of the Absolute, Oil on canvas, 56 x 50 inches
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