My work explores many areas of the human condition. As a dream inspired artist I see myself as a facilitator and recorder of subconscious imagery that emerges surprisingly and without warning. These images have taken me to psychological, emotional, cultural and historical arenas.
Personal events have contributed to the emergence and development of many of my works and to several series. “Impermanence” is the latest group I have created. It incorporates the iconic crucifix with anatomical attributions. “Impermanence” encompases the relationship of spirit with the corporal body.
The “Ex Votive Series” was initiated by a seminal dream that developed to include more than 20 pieces. It addresses religious rituals enacted by people in an effort to seek a healing or to give thanks for a successful one. It explores emotion and psychological drama. The practice of offering ex votos is a cultural and ritualistic tradition that has been practiced for thousands of years across the globe.
"Irene Gennaro offers a stunning synthesis of roughened haptic gesture and clear resonant color in painted wood sculptures of rare clarity and intelligence. Contemplating her own Sicilian heritage, as well the traditions of Byzantine Greece, India, and Tibet, Gennaro employs the motif of the votive, a symbolic object or body part used in many world religions... The contrast of modernist and medieval readings etches a sharp almost satirical edge to these sculptures and renders them electric rather than merely reassuring... Whether these votives stand as sentinels to a universal iconographic claim or as fragmentary isomorphis in a disconnected matrix is the question. Gennaro's artistic inquiry, which successfully pits an artistic sensibility against the great traditions of religion, psychology, and iconography is a prescription for vivid emotional experience not easily forgotten."
- Joel Silverstein, Sculpture magazine, Vol.21 No.8
A sculptor born and raised in New York City, Irene Gennaro has been exhibiting nationally for more than 20 years. She has had 19 solo exhibitions, including The Trenton City Museum, The Washington County Museum of Fine Art and The Kentuck Museum. Recent exhibits of her work have been held in Asia. She is represented in Japan by Daiwa Gallery, in Gifu City.
The daughter of a Sicilian stone carver, Gennaro’s father has been a potent creative influence in her life. As a second generation carver, Gennaro bears witness to a unique cultural history that she has reshaped and made her own. "The sculptures I create arise from my dreams or day dreams. These images are, harvested from the subconscious. It is a method of realization that surprises and delights me while generously nurturing my work."
Gennaro received a degree in Graphic Design from The City University of New York, and has studied at The School of Visual Arts, The New School for Social Research and The Brooklyn Museum Art School.
She has worked with children at Columbia Presbyterian’s Pediatric Neurology Clinic as part of an outreach program organized by The National Association of Women Artists. Gennaro has been a member of The Sculptors Guild for 10 years.
Gennaro is the recipient of a 2006 paid Fellowship from The National Academy Museum's Mural Art Workshop Program, NY. She is the recipient of The Bronze Casting Award from Polich Art Works in Rock Tavern, NY and eight awards from N.A.W.A. for carving and sculpture. Gennaro was invited and took part in, La Féte Internationale de La Sculpture de Saint-Jean-Port-Joly, Quebec, Canada's, Exhibition & Symposium 1994.
Gennaro's work is included in several group exhibitions yearly. In 2006 her work was selected to appear in “Archival To Contemporary Six Decades of The Sculptors Guild,” at Hillwood Art Museum, Brookville, NY.
Irene Gennaro participated in 2007 exhibitions at Stony Brook University's SAC Gallery NY and The College of Saint Elizabeth, NJ. In 2008 12 sculptures will be shown at Cazenovia College, NY in an exhibition curated by Professor Jen Pepper. The exhibition is titled "earthlink.net."
Sculptures by Irene Gennaro are included in private and permanent museum collections that include, The Trenton City Museum, NJ, The Washington County Museum of Fine Art, MD and Hillwood Art Museum, NY.